Reward and recognition for seafood industry excellence

The winners of the 2021 WA Seafood Industry Awards were announced at a gala event at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle on Friday 13 August.

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 a large audience of industry participants and seafood representatives.

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, Margaret Johnston; and Director of Aquaculture Research & Development at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), Greg Jenkins.

WAFIC’s Chief Executive Officer, Darryl Hockey said the awards are an important event in the seafood industry calendar.

“The seafood awards a great opportunity for seafood businesses to come together to celebrate and acknowledge our industry’s achievements. These successes are made more significant in recent times by the challenges facing the seafood industry such as the insecurity of resource access, international trade and transport issues, COVID restrictions, border closures and the constant pressures of red tape and the inconsistent approaches to stakeholder consultation.

“Despite this, the Western Australian seafood industry stands strong and remains an important economic and regional development driver. WA seafood is a billion dollar industry and is a major employer for WA, particularly in our regional centres and coastal towns and the winners of these awards are 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, particularly some of the women who are now taking on leading roles in the industry. Combined, they reflect an adaptive, innovative and environmentally responsible Western Australian primary industry – an industry of which we can all be proud,” Mr Hockey said.

The event was a huge success with attendees enjoying an array of fresh, local and sustainably caught Australian seafood prepared by celebrity chefs including; Neil Forbes (Black Pearl Oyster Shucking), Don Hancey (WA Food Ambassador & WAFIC Seafood Ambassador), Chris Howard (The Humble Onion), Gord Kahle (The Heritage Wine Bar), Stuart Laws (The Raffles Hotel & Chef Collective WA), Peter Manifis (Strzelecki Group), Melissa Palinkas (Young George & Ethos Deli), Martin Swindells (The Royal on the Waterfront), Aldrin Teo (Emily Taylor at the Warders Hotel) and Chase Weber (The Royal Hotel & The Standard).

The sustainably caught Western Australian seafood was kindly donated by sponsors including; Abrolhos Octopus, BellBuoy Seafoods, Brown Dog Fishing Co, Catalano’s Seafood, Endeavour Foods, Fins Seafood, Glacier 51 Toothfish, Huon Aquaculture, Larner’s Oysters, Leeuwin Coast, Lobster Shack, Mendolia Seafoods, MG Kailis Group, Ocean Grown Abalone, Ocean Wild Tuna, Paspaley Pearling Company, Sea Harvest, Shark Bay Cockles, Shark Bay Wild, Westmore Seafoods all served in compostable packaging provided by Ward Packaging.

Hosted by the WA Fishing Industry Council, the event was supported by a number of sponsors including, Gold event sponsors; Catalano’s Seafoods, Santos, Taylor Marine, Silver event sponsors; Fisheries Research & Development Corporation & the Marine Stewardship Council, as well as Award sponsors for each of the individual awards and seafood contributor sponsors.

Winners of 11 of the award categories receive automatic entry into the Australian Seafood Industry Awards which will be held in conjunction with the 2022 Seafood Directions Conference. 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 Awards were presented across the 12 categories:

Seafood Restaurant Award (sponsored by Endeavour Foods)
Awarded to – Blue Manna Bistro

Seafood Business (Small) Award (sponsored by Francis A Jones)
Awarded to Ocean and Paddock

Seafood Business (Large) Award (sponsored by Baker Refrigeration)
Awarded to Seafresh Group

Safety Award (sponsored by Sea Harvest)
Awarded to Tanya Adams

Research Development & Extension Award (sponsored by Western Rock Lobster Council)
Awarded to Abacus Fisheries Company Pty Ltd

Environment Award (sponsored by Woodside Energy)
Awarded to Austral Fisheries

Highly commended;

  • Latitude Jewellers – Flotsam & Jetsam
  • The Fisherman’s Daughter

 People Development Award (sponsored by Western Rock Lobster Council)
Awarded to Women in Seafood Australasia

Seafood Industry Producer Award (sponsored by Department of Primary Industry & Regional Development)
Awarded to Ben Pethick – Fishing Vessel Bowithick

Seafood Industry Promotion Award (sponsored by Austral Fisheries)
Awarded to Shark Bay Prawn Trawler Operator’s Association

Deckhand Award (sponsored by Fins Seafood)
Awarded to Thomas Breeze

Young Achievers Award (sponsored by Ward Packaging)
Awarded to Manue Daniels

Highly commended;

  • Morgan Hand

Michael & Patricia Kailis Leadership Award (sponsored by MG Kailis)
Awarded to Dr George Kailis