Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival: A Celebration of the Whale Shark
The Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival was held in Exmouth from Friday 25th to Sunday 28th May 2017. It is a significant Exmouth and regional event highlighting the community’s relationship with the yearly visitation of the whale shark.
The M G Kailis Group, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) shared a commercial fishing marquee at the Talanjee Oval Whaleshark Festival all-day Saturday event. This was an important contribution to the community and allowed Kailis staff to demonstrate the environmentally-friendly commercial fishing practices in Exmouth Gulf and their overall commitment to the region.
M G Kailis Chair George Kailis said “We’ve been supporting whaleshark research for a long time and we are proud to support the festival, it is a fantastic attraction for the region. We were overwhelmed by the interest of stand visitors in our sustainable and safe fishing practices”.
WAFIC displayed a range of recipes for visitors to take with them, each recipe featuring Western Australian seafood. They also conducted a questionnaire on seafood labelling. The survey feedback very strongly supported the need to clearly identify the origin of seafood at fish and chip shops, pub and restaurant menus etcetera with consumer willingness to pay some form of a premium price over imported or unidentified seafood.
Matt Watson from MSC was impressed by the recognition of the MSC brand and logo by seafood consumers. He noted that stand visitors were especially pleased to know that the Exmouth Gulf Prawn fishery was fully MSC certified and pleasantly surprised when he advised that all fisheries in Western Australia have gone through baseline MSC approval.