February 28, 2009

Australian fish farmers want imports ID’d

Australian seafood farmers are pushing for regulations that would force restaurants to identify the source of the fish on their menus.

Restaurants and fish and chips shops were exempted from a 2006 law requiring retailers to identify country of origin. Ken Chapman, president of the Australian Barramundi Farmers Association, told the Sydney Morning Herald consumers should know what they are getting.

Barramundi is the iconic Australian fish and Australians expect to get Australian fish if they order barramundi, he said. We are saying -- let the consumer choose.

Trevor Anderson, president of the Australian Prawn Farmers Association, said some shrimp farmers in Southeast Asia use antibiotics.

The Seafood Importers Association of Australasia said all imported fish must pass a strict inspection. The organization said about 70 percent of Australian seafood comes from elsewhere, with the major exporters including Thailand, China, Vietnam and New Zealand.