In March 2012, the Western Australian Government in partnership with the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) announced a funding commitment of $14.5m for third party sustainability certification of WA’s fisheries.
In September 2012, after a due diligence process, it was announced that the Marine Stewardship Council had been chosen as the independent, third party certification program.
Managed by the Department of Fisheries, the funding includes $8m for ongoing research and management ($2m per annum) and $6.5m (in total) for assessment, which includes pre-assessment for all fisheries, the cost of full assessment for those fisheries that proceed, and their first annual audit.
After the first annual audit industry will be responsible for on-going costs associated with MSC certification for specific fisheries including annual audits and full re-assessment in the fifth year.
A portion of the pre-assessment funds will be available to assist with fishery improvement projects to help fisheries transition through to full certification. This allocation will be available to leverage funding from other sources.