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South Australian sardines earn MSC tick

Fishery is Australia's largest by volume.

South Australia's sardine fishery has been certified against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fisheries standard for sustainability.

At 27,500 to 42,000 metric tons, the fishery is Australia’s largest by volume and the first sardine fishery in the southern hemisphere to be given the MSC nod.

The South Australia sardine fishery has become the first sardine fishery in the southern hemisphere to be certified to the internationally recognized Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fishing.

The sardine fishery becomes the third fishery in South Australia to hold MSC certification, joining the Spencer Gulf king prawn and Lakes and Coorong pipi fisheries. Some 38 percent of Australia’s marine wild catch is now MSC certified.

The South Australian sardine fishery targets Australian sardines (Sardinopssagax) with eight vessels using purse seines. Most fishing activity occurs at night, with schools of sardines located by sonar.

The commercial fishery began in the late 1990s and operates in all waters adjacent to the state of South Australia. Sardine fishing takes place on an annual basis with a peak fishing season from November to June when sardines are caught to feed southern bluefin tuna.

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