The WA (Western Australia) Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) is calling for clear labelling including state of origin throughout the seafood retail sector.
All seafood sold in the retail sector must be labelled to identify its country of origin and country of origin labelling is mandatory in packaged retail seafood. However as soon as the food is cooked and sold those laws disappear, making it difficult for consumers to distinguish between sustainable Australian seafood and non-sustainable seafood imported from other markets. WAFIC is keen to see improvements in labelling for cooked seafoods – including those served in restaurants.
WAFIC chief executive, Darryl Hockey, said: “We would like to see Country of Origin, or better yet, State of Origin labelling mandated for seafood sold in the food service sector. It seems like common sense that consumers should be able to identify what they are paying for, what they are eating and where it comes from, so they can make more informed choices about supporting local products. Local consumers should be given the confidence that if they are paying for WA seafood then they are eating WA seafood.”
He added: “I would like to see Western Australia follow the Northern Territory model and establish State of Origin labelling. If you go to food outlets in the Territory you’ll find NT products identified on their menus and patrons actively asking for the local product.”
Mr Hockey said WA’s commercial seafood industry has been pushing for labelling changes to address this issue.