WA Seafood Industry Hooks in National Awards
At lunchtime yesterday in front of an enthusiastic and excited seafood crowd on Melbourne’s South Wharf Boat Builders Yard, Western Australia’s seafood industry hooked four out of twelve awards at the 2019 National Seafood Industry Awards – Australia’s biggest biennial celebration of the seafood industry. Also hailed from the West were three of the four new inductees for the coveted National Seafood Hall of Fame.
The WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alex Ogg said that the awards were a well-deserved acknowledgement to showcase and reflect on the achievements throughout Australia’s seafood industry, and an incredible success for WA’s contributions at a national scale.
Mendolia Seafoods won the Environment Award for the work by Jim Mendolia surrounding the launch of a new burley and bait product. The packaging for the new product, named the ‘Burley Brick’, is made from biodegradable cardboard, filled with locally sourced fish (sardine) products – making the entire product plastic free, with total utilisation of the catch.
“Addressing single use plastics as one of the most significant challenges ahead of industry, Mendolia Seafoods has shown great innovation to develop a plastic free, biodegradable Burley Brick, turning Western Australia into a leader in the fight on plastic free pollution. Additionally, the burley content of the box is from Western Australian waters which ensures that any biosecurity risk is kept to a minimum,” said Mr Ogg.
Taking home the Small Business Award was Fins Seafood for their retail enterprise that focuses on the logistical journey, from ocean to plate.
“Local seafood retailer, Fins Seafood, directly connects seafood lovers with our producers, offering premium seafood in a reliable, energetic and transparent way. With “No Grey Areas” as their slogan, owners John Cordin and Phil Clark are certainly changing the seafood supply scene in WA by successfully adapting to market challenges in product promotion – becoming our celebrity chefs best friend. They recently implemented a tagging system allowing for traceability and transparency of seafood products and are known for educating chefs and other wholesalers on many of our lesser known species.”
The Safety Award was presented to Paspaley for their demonstrated excellence in developing and maintaining a culture of safety that has contributed substantially towards improving the safety record of Australia’s seafood industry.
“Paspaley have really taken a proactive role to improve deckhand training and safety standards so as to increase employee retention and to provide a safe working environment in remote locations and improve the safety of its crew and vessels. They are clear leaders towards our national initiative to improve safety at sea.”
There was plenty of applause when Justine Arnold swept up the Young Achiever Award for her recognition of making a positive difference to Australia’s seafood industry.
“Justine has a long list of achievements such as her integral research and managerial role at Indian Ocean Fresh Australia in Geraldton, mentorship of a school-based trainee from the local high school and has been the recipient of the Women In Seafood Australasia (WISA) personal development scholarship. She is a role-model for the younger generation wanting to start a career in one of the world’s best managed seafood industries. Great work Justine!”
Mr Ogg was delighted at the induction of three very deserving West Australians including Dr Jenny Shaw, Greg Jenkins and Jim Mendolia into the National Seafood Industry Hall of Fame.
“Jenny, Greg and Jim have all been pivotal in the development of WA’s seafood industry. Jenny has a long history with the seafood industry having occupied roles in fisheries and marine related areas for her entire working career. Greg’s 38-year contribution to the aquaculture industry in WA is inspiring. Greg is seen as the “go to” person with respect to anything pertaining to aquaculture research and development, commercial production, hatchery technology and fish stocking in Western Australia.”
“There is no denying that the name Jim Mendolia is synonymous with Fremantle sardines and the iconic Fremantle Sardine Festival, which he founded. The quirky character is most famous for his ability to turn the ‘lesser known’ species into a popular delicacy now found in restaurants and the food sector across Australia. It’s his passion, leadership, enthusiasm and dedication that has seen Jim effect positive changes across Australia’s seafood and food industries.”
“As an industry body, we recognise the importance of acknowledging those individuals and organisations who make a substantial contribution to benefiting and promoting our industry, and these winners are certainly incredibly worthy of this recognition. We are incredibly proud of their achievements,” Mr Ogg concluded.
For more information contact:
WAFIC Communications Officer
0434 963 179
About the National Seafood Awards
The National Seafood Industry Awards showcase the Australian seafood industry; its value to the national economy, its professionalism, and its commitment to supplying some of the finest seafood in the world to local, national and international markets.
It does this through recognising and celebrating the positive contributions of individuals, partnerships, businesses and organisations towards a sustainable and profitable Australian seafood industry.
The awards were announced during the seafood industry’s biennial Seafood Directions conference.
2019 National Seafood Industry Awards winners
Primary Producer Award – sponsored by Sydney Fish Market
- Yumbah Aquaculture
Business Award (Large) – sponsored by NAB
- Mainstream Aquaculture Group
Business Award (Small) – sponsored by Raptis Seafoods
- Fins Seafood
Safety Award – sponsored by Austral
- Paspaley Pearling Company
Research, Development and Extension Award – sponsored by Beach Energy
- Australian Seafood Industries
Environment Award – sponsored by Cooper Energy
- Mendolia Seafoods
People Development Award – Sponsored by Australian Maritime Safety Authority
- Flora Warrior
Promotion Award – sponsored by Seafood Industry Victoria
- Australian Barramundi Farmers Association
Restaurant Award – sponsored by APPEA
Young Achiever Award – sponsored by Marine Stewardship Council
- Justine Arnold
Industry Ambassador Award – sponsored by Austral
- Bryan Skepper
National Judged Fish and Chip Award – sponsored by FRDC
- Tobin Fish Tales (Townsville)
National Seafood Hall of Fame
- Jim Mendolia
- Greg Jenkins
- Jenny Shaw
- Dawn Jordan