Reward and Recognition for Seafood Industry Excellence

The winners of all categories of the 2019 WA Seafood Industry Awards were announced at a WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) hosted event at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle on Thursday 25 July.  The event was supported by a number of sponsors including; Gold event sponsor – National Australia Bank, Silver event sponsors – Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and the Western Rock Lobster Council, as well as Award sponsors for each of the individual awards and seafood contributor sponsors.

Congratulations to our winners!

The Awards, recognising Western Australian seafood industry achievements and excellence was opened by the Minister for Fisheries, the Hon. Dave Kelly MLA and attended by more than 350 participants of the seafood and fishing industries and representatives from various stakeholder groups.

Nominations for the Awards were received in late May and winners were selected by a panel of judges, Wines of WA Chief Executive Officer, Larry Jorgenson, Food Writer Marg Johnston and Agribusiness Manager, Phillip Sinclair from National Australia Bank.

WAFIC’s Chair, Dr Ron Edwards said, the excellent results demonstrated the hard-work and dedication of those industry men and women involved in WA’s commercial fishing and seafood sectors.

“This is an important event in the seafood industry calendar and a great opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge our industry’s achievements.  These achievements are made more significant by the challenges faced by the seafood and fishing industry such as the red tape and arbitrary environmental regulation, the high Australian dollar and the escalating cost of living and doing business in WA – challenges that sometimes test our ability to thrive.”

“The Western Australian seafood industry is important to our State in terms of employment, the wider economy and perhaps most significantly, as a fantastic example of how Western Australia can deliver a world-class, sustainable food industry.”

“I am impressed at the scope and diversity of this year’s nominees.  They reflect an adaptive, innovative and environmentally responsible Western Australian primary industry; an industry of which we can all be proud.”

“It is pleasing to see these seafood leaders receive recognition offered by peers at these Awards. I congratulate all involved and urge the industry to continue their excellent work to improve our fishing and seafood industry, both in WA and around the nation.”

The event was a huge success with attendees enjoying an array of fresh, local and sustainably caught Australian seafood prepared by celebrity chefs including; Gurpreet Bagga (Sauma Northbridge), Naomi Bulner (Steve’s Fine Food), Neil Forbes (Black Pearl Oyster Shucking), Don Hancey (WA Food Ambassador & WAFIC Seafood Ambassador), Gord Kahle (Cook & Mason), Stuart Laws (Showcase Events WA), Kenny McHardy (Manuka Woodfire Kitchen), Brendan Pang (2018 Masterchef Contestant), Melissa Palinkas (Young George), Alejandro Saravia (Uma), and Nic Wood (Santini Bar & Grill).

Seafood contributing sponsors included; Austral Fisheries, BellBuoy Seafoods, Bendotti Exporters, Blom Fishing, Brown Dog Fishing Co, Cone Bay Barramundi, Endeavour Foods, Fins Seafood, Larner’s Oysters, Leeman Fish & Chips, Mendolia Seafoods, MG Kailis Group, Ocean Grown Abalone, Ocean Wild Tuna, Paspaley Pearling Company, Running Wild Fishing Co, Shark Bay Cockles, Shark Bay Seafoods, West Australian Octopus all served in compostable packaging provided by Ward Packaging.

Winners of 13 of the award categories will receive automatic entry into the Australian Seafood Industry Awards which will be held in Melbourne in conjunction with the 2019 Seafood Directions Conference on 9-11 October.  As a new category in 2019, the Deckhand Award, is a WA only accredited Award.  This award has been established to recognise and reward the contributions and achievements of those at the coal-face of our industry.

The following Awards were presented across the 14 categories:

People’s Choice Fish and Chips Award (sponsored by Bendotti Exporters)

Awarded to – Pinjarra Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips Award (sponsored by Mareterram Fisheries)

Awarded to – Ocean and Paddock

Seafood Restaurant Award (sponsored by Endeavour Foods)

Awarded to – Cook and Mason

Seafood Business (Small) Award (sponsored by Bailey’s Marine Fuels)

Awarded to Fins Seafood Factory Pty Ltd

Seafood Business (Large) Award (sponsored by Francis A Jones)

Awarded to Endeavour Foods

Safety Award (sponsored by Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative)

Awarded to Paspaley Pearling Company

Research Development & Extension Award (sponsored by Santos)

Awarded to Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries & Australian Prawn Farmers Association

Environment Award (sponsored by Woodside Energy)

Awarded to Mendolia Seafoods

People Development Award (sponsored by INPEX)

Awarded to Indian Ocean Fresh Australia Pty Ltd

Seafood Industry Producer Award (sponsored by Department of Primary Industry & Regional Development)

Awarded to BP Fishing Pty Ltd

Seafood Industry Promotion Award (sponsored by Baker Refrigeration)

Awarded to Don Hancey

Deckhand Award (sponsored by Austral Fisheries)

Awarded to Joel Benn

Young Achievers Award (sponsored by ConocoPhillips)

Awarded to Justine Arnold

Michael Kailis Leadership Award (sponsored by MG Kailis)

Awarded to Jim Mendolia

For further information regarding the awards, please contact:

Danika Gusmeroli

Communications Officer

WAFIC office: (08) 9432 7710

Mobile: 0434 963 179



Dr Ron Edwards

WAFIC Chairman

WAFIC office: (08) 9432 7777

Mobile: 0408 925 805