Seafood industry awards its high achievers

Monday, 28 October, 2013

The Australian seafood industry’s highest achievers have been recognised at the 7th National Seafood Industry Awards. The awards also launched the biennial Seafood Directions Conference, which brings together representatives from across the seafood industry to discuss the latest research, industry issues and trends.

Western Australian rock lobster fisher John Cole AM was awarded the evening’s highest honour, the National Seafood Industry Ambassador Award. Cole has been a passionate advocate for the promotion and advancement of the industry for more than 50 years.

Tassal, Australia’s leading producer of Atlantic Salmon, won the 2013 National Seafood Industry Large Business Award. The company was recognised for its role as a major employer in Tasmania (Tassal employs 850 staff), its market leadership and commitment to maintaining an internationally recognised standard of sustainable aquaculture production.

Marine Produce Australia, which farms barramundi at Cone Bay in WA, won the National Seafood Industry Primary Producer Award.

Australia Bay Seafoods took home the National Seafood Industry Environmental Award for its efforts to reduce bycatch by 95% and adoption of new technology to reduce the impact of trawling in its NT fisheries.

The Darwin Fish Market won the 2013 Small Business Award. The Australian-only seafood wholesaler and retailer has developed a range of new products and also provides education campaigns, cooking programs and tastings.

Austral Fisheries won the National Seafood Industry Promotion Award for its work with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to achieve sustainability certification for all four of the fisheries it works in.

The People Development Award was shared by Samara Miller, the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association and Tony’s Tuna International. They worked together to match staff skills in the tuna industry with nationally recognised vocational qualifications and career pathways, providing a model for other sectors of the seafood industry.

The industry’s 2013 Young Achiever was Ben Cameron, general manager of his family’s shellfish hatchery Cameron of Tasmania, which provides about half of the national oyster industry spate. The award recognises his leadership role working with several groups to improve oyster- and shellfish-related research, disease management, quality assurance and strategic planning for the seafood industry.

A collaborative research project between the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Association and the University of Tasmania won the Research, Development and Extension Award. The project, funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, has helped reduce the mortality of farmed Southern Bluefin Tuna by 13%, adding an estimated $20 million to the value of the industry.

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