At a forum discussing the future of Australian sustainable seafood sourcing, Woolworths spoke about its sourcing strategy to date.

As part of the supermarket chain’s long-term plan, it aims to ensure all seafood is sourced from sustainable outlets by committing to have all of its wild-caught seafood range Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified or equivalent

Currently, the company has 17 MSC certified products in its private label.

“Seafood is an integral part of our fresh food offer and we want to grow our business. This means we sustainable fisheries and a viable fishing sector to supply us,” Tjeerd Jegan, Woolworths director of supermarkets, said.

As part of this strategy, the company will invest $80,000 to help fund the building of a shark fishery in South Australia.

The fund will assist with two projects. The first aims to look at an alternate approach for fishing for gummy sharks in the South Australian component of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF). The second project will use state of the art pop-up satellite archival tags to assess the post-release movement and survival of school shark (Galeorhinus galeus) possibly taken as bycatch on long-line fishing gear in South Australian waters.

“This funding has come from Woolworths‟ Fresh Food Future program which demonstrates our commitment to investing in sustainable agriculture in Australia. With an investment of $20 million over the past five years, the program aims to advance agricultural sustainability and build leadership capacity in the sector,” Jegen said.