2018 Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival: Red Carpet, Replica Prawn Trawler and More

The 2018 Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival was the perfect platform for MG Kailis, WAFIC and MSC to demonstrate the environmentally-friendly commercial fishing practices in the industry. With a full replica prawn trawler, red carpet, enthusiastic staff and lots of giveaways – the marquee become an action-packed, educational area where the community could see first-hand the value of WA’s commercial fishing industry. And for major sponsor MG Kailis, it provided the chance to connect to the community face-to-face, humanise the industry and promote the important and responsible role the commercial fishing industry has played to the community of Exmouth.

Alex Kailis, MG Kailis Director of Operations, said that the event provided a platform for the community to recognise and be proud of its fishing history and industry.

“We have an incredible history with the Exmouth community, but we simply can’t take that for granted. It is our responsibility to engage at all levels so that Exmouth is not just known for prawns but is proud of its fishing history and industry.”

“By engaging directly in a face to face setting we humanise our industry and show we are a responsible and important part of the community.”

Father and son viewing the replica prawn trawler.

“Each time we lift the veil on our industry people see there is nothing to fear, the alternative is to surrender our history and story to those who want to do us harm without regard to facts and truth,” he said.

Matt Watson, Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) Oceania & SE Asia Fisheries Outreach Manager, agreed that the event played an important role in being able to educate the community.

Matt from MSC and Janice from MG Kailis promoting the industry.

“It is always good to support MSC fisheries helping to communicate their credibility and sustainability to the communities that surround them.”

“Spending time with the fishing stakeholders and wider community in Exmouth reaffirms the shared values we have in managing our fisheries sustainably.”

A young child playing with MSC species wheel.

“What was clear after spending time with attendees of the Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival is their expectation that they can access locally sourced, sustainable seafood. The MSC certified Exmouth prawn fishery has done a great job in undertaking a sustainability journey to offer WA consumers this choice in seafood,” he said.

Alex said that MG Kailis have been active in the Exmouth Whaleshark Festival for several years and that the industry is powerful in its messaging – when united.

The replica prawn trawler – named after MG Kailis staff member Janice.

“It is our responsibility to engage at all levels so that Exmouth is not just known for prawns but is proud of its fishing history and industry.”

“When you talk direct to people you realise how much support there is for primary industry and understanding that we need food and activity to keep the world turning. Presented right we are an industry that is respected.”

WAFIC staff full of recipe cards, educational giveaways and the chance to go in the draw to win a $100 voucher to the Fresh Fish Shak.

“We have been active in the Exmouth Whaleshark Festival for several years, but when we stand as Industry, WAFIC and MSC together in the same place the messaging is powerful and cuts right through. For MG Kailis the value of these organisations is paid back on that one day alone, and we can’t speak highly enough of their staff,” he concluded.