Press Release

Australian Heard Island and McDonald Islands Toothfish continues to meet global sustainability standard


  • Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Toothfish fishery achieves first MSC recertification
  • Fishery in southern Indian Ocean within the area covered by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
  • HIMI toothfish carrying the MSC blue label is traceable from ocean to plate

Today, the Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) toothfish fishery received recertification to the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) standard for sustainable fishing. Originally certified in 2012, the fishery was reassessed by third-party auditor SCS Global Services. This recertification ensures that the fishery is sustainable and well managed.

“Congratulations to the HIMI Toothfish fishery for achieving recertification and for demonstrating true leadership in the successful management of this remote fishery.  Consumers in Australia and abroad can trust that toothfish labelled with the MSC blue tick continue to be independently certified as sustainable,” says Patrick Caleo, MSC Regional Director Asia Pacific.

The HIMI fishery is managed by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) in accordance with measures set by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the international science-based body with 25 member nations tasked with managing Antarctic resources. In addition, both operators, Austral Fisheries and Australian Longline, are active members of COLTO, the Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators. Due to robust and collaborative management, there has not been illegal fishing in the region since 2006*

“We are thrilled with our recertification for HIMI toothfish. At Austral, we have a strong commitment to sustainability. From our MSC certifications through to our Carbon Neutral Program, we take pride in our sustainable business practices to ensure we can enjoy seafood for generations to come,” said David Carter, CEO of Austral Fisheries.

Fisheries that meet the MSC fishing standard are certified for five years, with annual surveillance audits. Since the original 2012 certification, the fishery has successfully closed out all outstanding conditions, demonstrating that it meets best practice for sustainable and well managed fisheries.   

“Toothfish fisheries were once susceptible to illegal and unreported fishing,” said Dr. Sabine Daume, Australian Regional Representative for SCS Global Services. “With the establishment of COLTO, management by CCAMLR, and certification to the MSC Fisheries and MSC Chain of Custody standards, consumers can trust that toothfish from this fishery are traceable and sustainable from ocean to plate.”

“We’re proud of the hard work we’ve done,” said Malcolm McNeill, Managing Director of Australian Longline. “Through collaborative management on and off the water between industry, AFMA and the Australian Border Force, a species that was once deemed to be unsustainable by some, can reverse its course. In addition to achieving MSC certification for the second time, HIMI Toothfish is also rated green and a Best Choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program.”

The HIMI Toothfish fishery joins 309 MSC certified fisheries globally, landing 12% of all wild marine seafood. The MSC was the first wild-capture seafood program to be accredited by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI). In addition, the MSC is the only wild seafood certification program to be a fully qualified member of ISEAL, the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance, requiring compliance with its highly-regarded Codes for Standard-Setting, Assurance and Impact Monitoring.

Fisheries are assessed by third-party auditors against the MSC Standard, which covers three core principles: fishery stock health, impact on marine environment and management of the fishery. More than 615 improvements to fishing practices and environmental management have been delivered by MSC certified fisheries since 2000.  

*As reported by CCAMLR


MSC Senior Communications Officer, Meredith Epp  

ph: +61 401 874 642  

[email protected]  

About The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)  

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation. Our vision is for the world’s oceans to be teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations. Our ecolabel and certification program recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices and is helping create a more sustainable seafood market. 

The MSC ecolabel on a seafood product means that: 

  • It comes from a wild-catch fishery which has been independently certified to the MSC’s science-based standard for environmentally sustainable fishing. 
  • It’s fully traceable to a sustainable source in accordance with the MSC Chain of Custody standard. 

More than 309 fisheries in 35 countries are certified to the MSC’s Standard. These fisheries have a combined annual seafood production of over nine million metric tonnes, representing close to 12% of annual global yields. Over 25,000 seafood products worldwide carry the MSC ecolabel.

The MSC program could not exist without the many fishers around the world who work to safeguard stocks, ecosystems and their own livelihoods. Read stories about fishers working hard to safeguard our oceans.

For more information

Read: HIMI Toothfish Fishery Page   

Film:  What is the MSC Standard?

For more information on the work of the MSC, please visit

SCS Media Contact

Nikki Senseman

Director, Client Marketing