New-look Board to Lead Fresh Strategy for WA Fishing Industry Council

The WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) unveiled a new-look Board at yesterday’s 52nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) with three Director positions up for election. The results saw Deputy Chair, James Clement, re-elected for another term, with Felicity Horn and Adam Radford selected to the new-look Board by members, and the retirement of outgoing Directors Terry Mouchemore and John Hutton.

New appointee Felicity Horn grew up in a commercial fishing family in Dongara and is the current Executive Officer of Shark Bay Prawn Trawler Operators’ Association (SBPTOA) since 2016. After completing an aquatic science degree at Curtin University, she started working in WAFIC’s Resource Access department in 2001. She brings to the WAFIC Board significant industry knowledge and experience across WA’s seafood sector.

Adam Radford, a Western Rock Lobster industry member from Cervantes, grew up in a commercial fishing family and will take to the peak body a wealth of industry experience, as well as his finance and commerce background.

Members also re-elected former Labor Federal Member of Parliament Dr. Ron Edwards, unopposed, as Independent Chair of the peak industry body for another 1-year term.

In comments as Chair, Dr. Edwards said that the peak body had confronted a period of significant change throughout the 2018/19 period. He praised his fellow Board members for their tireless efforts and commitment to improve the industry.

“There have been significant changes made to WAFIC in recent times including a new energetic Chief Executive Officer, a clearly defined and updated strategic direction and a communications plan to increase engagement with key stakeholders including industry and the community.”

“We have also concentrated on securing property rights of the seafood sector as they are essential to our industry being able to invest in providing high quality sustainable seafood for the benefit of the community. We need to make working in seafood a highly valued, long-term career built around secure property rights,” he said.

Dr Edwards said the priority for the organisation and the WAFIC Board continues to be industry unity.

“If industry is not united around common goals and purposes then we will lose the argument as to why we need to remain in business against the challenges from outside our primary sector including climate change, environmental standards and competition for resources.”

“A productive engagement with the WA Government is an ongoing role for the WAFIC Board and staff. For commercial fisheries to be sustainable and productive we need regular conversations with the Department and the Minister as to how we go about our business.”

In conclusion, Dr Edwards thanked Terry Mouchemore and John Hutton profoundly for their diligence and strong leadership towards a stronger and more secure seafood industry not only for members, but the WA community.

“Both Terry and John have contributed substantially to the WAFIC Board, having been talented leaders in their respective fields whilst having the best intentions regarding the whole WA seafood industry at heart.”

“Terry is a third-generational commercial Western Rock Lobster fisher elected to the WAFIC Board in 2016. With his sound industry and business knowledge, he has provided WAFIC with comprehensive advice on a range of industry issues including property rights, strategy and constitutional. His reason and insight will be greatly missed.”

“Whilst John has served the Board tirelessly for three terms fighting for the rights of those within the aquaculture and pearling industries – as well as the multitude of Western Australian fisheries. His committed to ensuring the advance and growth of our great primary sector will not be forgotten.”

“I look forward to working with our new Board, who each bring with them a wide range of experience – including property rights, resource access, government liaison and building community support. These combined skills and knowledge will help us to future-proof Western Australia’s world-leading commercial seafood industry.”

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For media enquiries please contact:

Danika Gusmeroli

Communications Officer

E: communications@wafic.org.au M: +61 434 963 179 OR P: (08) 9432 7710

The WAFIC Board is comprised of up to nine individuals from across WA’s seafood industry.  The term of office for each elected director is three years, with the term of Chair one year.