Fishing vessel Bowithick sets a national standard

Ben Pethick, operating fishing vessel Bowithick, based out of the Abrolhos Islands, was recognised for his seafood innovations when his business was presented the Seafood Industry Producer Award at the 2021 Western Australian Seafood Industry Awards.

The award category is sponsored by the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development.

The Awards event, recognising excellence in the WA seafood industry, was held at The Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle and opened by Minister for Fisheries Hon Don Punch MLA in front of an audience of industry participants and seafood representatives.

WA Fishing Industry Council CEO, Darryl Hockey said Ben Pethick’s business had demonstrated excellence in the sustainable production of quality seafood through innovation in fishing practices, and that the company had contributed substantially towards a positive public profile for the seafood industry.

Ben Pethick is the owner and skipper of F.V. Bowithick, a wet-line fishing boat operating out of the Abrolhos Islands. Ben has implemented numerous innovative ways to progress production practices and enhance quality, including double iki jime (a method of instantly dispatching a fish to maintain the quality of its meat) and gill snipping (to improve the quality of the flesh) along with improvements to icing and packaging techniques to ensure consistently high standards are delivered to customers. Ben also proactively manages social media management and promotional elements to assist in the marketing of the F.V. Bowithick brand and his seafood products to customers.

“Crayfish and wetline caught fish are very high-value seafood products and therefore need to be treated with the upmost care. We have been making a considerable effort to increase customer awareness of our company and fishing vessel’s profile through social media avenues, branding and provenance labelling, to communicate the effort our team take to ensure we maintain an excellent standard of product and give consumers and restaurateurs an understanding of the ‘story’ and the journey of that produce from ocean to plate.

“Due to our profile raising attempts and exceptional standard of seafood, our product is now in demand in restaurants across Australia,” Ben Pethick said.

“As an industry body, WAFIC recognises the importance of acknowledging those individuals and organisations who make a substantial contribution to benefiting our industry, and Ben Pethick’s operation is certainly a worthy recipient of this award,” Mr Hockey concluded.