Professor Peter Cook, of UWA’s Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management in Albany, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the international Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
The ASC is a body that strives to be the world’s leading certification and labelling program for responsibly farmed seafood, setting global environmental and social standards for the aquaculture industry.
Professor Cook’s appointment will enable the ASC a wider geographical representation. It follows an announcement last year by WA Fisheries Minister Norman Moore that WA commercial fisheries supplying wild-caught seafood would work towards accreditation from the international Marine Stewardship Council (MCS).
The ASC said MSC work closely together and have signed a memorandum of understanding where both organisations share a Chain of Custody protocol to ensure that certified product from a fishery or farm is identified all the way from the source to the plate.
Aquaculture has been criticised in the past for damaging the environment, but with the world population expected to grow to 9.1 billion by 2050 and natural fisheries under pressure, it is increasingly seen as a critical part of the world’s food supply.
As aquaculture production increases worldwide, the ASC considers it important that farms operate in an environmentally sustainable way, and the introduction of international standards is seen as a way of helping achieve this.
Professor Cook is a past president of the International Abalone Society and author or co-author of more than 100 publications in scientific and popular literature.
His main research interests have involved the biology of mariculture species such as mussels, oysters and abalone.
Jess Reid (UWA Media and Public Relations) (+61 8) 6488 6876