Australians deserve to have fresh, locally caught fish on their home table, and to be assured of the origins of fish when eating out, according to Northern-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald.
Senator Macdonald, who was speaking in the Senate today on proposed amendments to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act, said he was keen to see the regulator introduce mandatory country of origin labelling on fish in restaurants and retail cooked fish outlets.
“I can’t understand why we don’t require restaurants in this country to label their menus with the country of origin of the fish they are offering,” Senator Macdonald said.
“I understand this happens in the Northern Territory, and it should be done Australia-wide.”
“If I am at the fish and chip shop and want to pay more for my fish because it’s been caught locally, and my neighbour wants a cheaper fillet that has been imported, that is a choice we should be able to make. But you can only do that if you know the origin of the fish,” Senator Macdonald said.
Senator Macdonald was also critical of the Greens political party for trying to destroy the Australian fishing industry.
“The majority of fish eaten in Australia is, sadly, imported.”
“We should be encouraging what is a sustainable, carefully managed industry rather than denigrating it, as very often happens – particularly by the Greens.”
Senator Macdonald said Australian fishing grounds and waters were carefully controlled and monitored by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, to ensure fish are being caught sustainably.
“We have some of the best fish and seafood in the world, right here on our doorstep, particularly in Northern Australia.
“Fishing and aquaculture are viable, sustainable industries in this country that employ tens of thousands of people, but if the Greens had their way, there would not be any Australian fish caught, nor any sustainable aquaculture development.”