From humble beginnings come great things: A look into the insight of GFC Lobster facility
Let us rewind to the 1950s where Perth was in the midst of progress, prosperity and change. Development was inevitable and there was a desire for modern technologies. It was also the year where Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative (GFC) was established by a small group of Western Australian rock lobster fishermen in the coastal city of Geraldton. The purpose – to correct local market prices and take control of their own future. By investing in product innovation and building its Research and Development capacity GFC has grown to become the largest rock lobster in the world and one of Australia’s largest and most successful.
30 of June marked the occasion where 400 people joined GFC to celebrate the official opening of the world’s largest recirculating aquaculture system. Home to 80 tonnes of rock lobster, the facility took 3 years of planning, design and construction to create this full-service $23 million Welshpool facility. With travel time a critical factor, the new facility and network cuts the time it takes to get a rock lobster from the Indian Ocean off WA to China from 30 hours to 16 hours.
The occasion saw Hon. Dave Kelly MLA talk about the iconic Western Rock Lobster fishery playing an important role in the economy of WA and congratulated the Co-op on their achievements. The Minister was joined by Bill Newbold, GFC’s founding Chairman, to unveil the plaque – confirming the official opening of the Welshpool Live Lobster facility and reminiscing on humble beginnings.
Kim Colero, Chair of WRLC, reflected on the proud history of the GFC and the leading role it has played throughout the seafood industry in WA.
“The Geraldton Fisherman’s Coop, a homegrown West Australian company, is to be commended on being innovative and proactive in its approach to delivering the highest quality Western Rock Lobster to China which is by far the biggest and fastest growing seafood market in the world.
“This type of innovation is imperative to maintaining or growing the value of the Western Rock Lobster fishery for Western Australia.