Demonstrating Environmental Performance
Environmental performance is becoming an important part of doing business in today’s world. This is particularly the case for food producers, as a growing number of supermarket chains, restaurants and other retailers are working to offer customers environmentally sustainable food choices.
For 2007/08, and the next three years, a total of $4.6 million has been allocated to encourage fishing and aquaculture industries to demonstrate and improve on their environmental performance.
A large part of this funding is being made available through the establishment of a contestable fund to support industry initiatives to obtain independent recognition of the environmental performance of particular fishing or aquaculture activities. The Ministry of Fisheries opened applications for this funding in July 2008 and will decide on successful applicants later this year. Funding is also being set aside to assist other stakeholders who participate in certification or assessment processes.
The Ministry has also commenced work towards having New Zealand’s fisheries management system assessed against a set of international criteria developed by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This will provide assessment of on our generic management regime against MSC criteria and support the certification or other independent assessment of individual fisheries. The MSC is an independent, global, non-profit organisation that has developed a certification standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.