Tuesday, September 29, 2015

29/09/2015: Could we soon be wearing sustainable pearls?

In a world first, the Australian Pearl Producers Association (PPA) has entered the Australia pearl oyster fishery to be assessed against the MSC's standard for sustainable fishing. If the fishery achieves certification it could influence the global pearl industry, feeding a growing demand for sustainable options that go beyond just what we eat.

The fishery turns around AUS$60 - 80 million per year and is the second most valuable fishery in Western Australia, contributing a significant amount to the country’s economy.
Image: Rebecca Wilson
Executive Officer of PPA, Aaron Irving is delighted with this game-changing move.
"People care about sustainability and healthy bountiful oceans and hopefully, if we achieve certification, they’ll be able to wear that sustainability with the world’s first MSC certified pearls," he says.

The entrance of the pearl fishery comes as a result of growing market demand for certified sustainable jewellery. The pearl fishery, located in the waters of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, produces pearls, pearl oyster meat and mother of pearl shell products.

MSC Asia Pacific Director, Patrick Caleo, welcomes the fishery’s decision to enter assessment against the MSC Fisheries Standard:

"We always think of seafood when we think of fishing, but here we have a fishery that could change how we think of fishing, sustainability and the different ways we can look after our ocean,"

"There’s a growing number of people who want do good by their oceans but also want to look good. If certified, the pearl fishery will allow that discerning customer to not only eat sustainable seafood but also wear jewellery that has positive impacts on our oceans."

Independent certification body SCS Global Services will carry out this assessment over a 12-18 month period. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input throughout the process. To comment on the assessment of this fishery, please contact: SDaume@scsglobalservices.com

Visit the MSC site HERE.

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