A Raptis & Sons Banana and Tiger Prawns obtain Friend of the Sea certification
The Northern Australian company's commitment to sustainable harvesting merits award of the FOS seal of approval, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Friend of the Sea.
"Along with meeting our strict criteria, Raptis has made a fundamental commitment to environmental protection and sustainable production," says Dr Paolo Bray - Director of Friend of the Sea. "This is a very good example of how sustainability principles can be instituted as a key element of sound business practice."
The fishery itself is managed by the Australian Fish Management Authority (AFMA) through a combination of input controls (limited entry, seasonal closures, permanent area closures, gear restrictions and operational controls) which are implemented under the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) Management Plan. AFMA also strictly regulates the number of trawlers and the amount of gear used in the fishery.
Every net used by Raptis is fitted with a Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD), which along with Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) have proven effective in reducing interactions with threatened, endangered, or protected species. Additionally, recent stock assessments carried out by the Bureau of Rural Sciences indicate that neither species is overfished or listed as subject to overfishing. In keeping with the well-managed nature of the fishery, all vessels in the Raptis fishing fleet are registered and licensed with AFMA.
In addition to meeting Friend of the Sea stock health, fishing methods and management criteria, the audit - run by an international certification body - confirmed Raptis had surpassed the social, legal and traceability requirements; adding more strength to the company's position as a leader in sustainable prawn production.
"Friend of the Sea certification provides us with added value when entering the European market" explains Mr David Crichton, Group Trading Manager of Raptis "The audit provided us with an opportunity to evidence our efforts towards sustainable fishing. We appreciate the project approach and its message to consumers"
Raptis began operations in 1957 and is amongst the largest privately owned fishing and seafood trading companies in Australia, employing more than 200 people. They are the major supplier of seafood to distributors, wholesalers, seafood retail outlets and major supermarket chains in Australia. They export internationally to Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Oceania.