Media Release

​Austral Fisheries recognised for excellence

4 December 2015

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, congratulated Austral Fisheries on taking out the Agribusiness category of the Australian Export Awards.

Minister Ruston said Austral epitomised best practice in sustainable fishing practices, and were a worthy winner of the award.

“Austral Fisheries specialise in environmentally friendly sustainable fishing practices, and is a great example of how sustainable practice can underpin a profitable business,” Minister Ruston said.

“Austral’s annual export revenue rose by a massive 41 per cent in 2014–15, driven by a marketing strategy that highlights the provenance, quality and sustainability of its products. 

“They specialise in Patagonian Toothfish from Australia’s sub-Antarctic Territory, and sea-caught prawns from the Gulf of Carpentaria—species where sustainability is particularly crucial. 

“Austral holds the world’s largest single quota for Marine Stewardship Council-certified toothfish and is Australia’s second largest prawn producer—a big responsibility—and this is a great example of how sustainable practices helps underpin profitability.”

Minister Ruston said Austral’s commitment to responsible marine stewardship was matched by the Australian Government’s.

“Our capture fisheries and aquaculture sector provides seafood to Australia and the world—with production forecast to be worth $2.9 billion in  2015–16—but we need to manage these sectors responsibly to protect these important returns into the future,” Minister Ruston said.

“The Australian Government understands this balance, and recent ABARES Fishery Status Reports 2015 showed that no solely Commonwealth managed fish stocks are subject to overfishing for the second year running thanks to the efforts of the fishing industry and the independent fisheries regulator, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.

“At the same time, we continue to negotiate more favourable trade and market access conditions for our exporters, like Austral—and fisheries and aquaculture export earnings are forecast to increase by 10.8 per cent to $1.6 billion in 2015–16.

“Demand continues to boom, particularly with our nearest trading partners in Asia, but we need to make sure we continue to protect this resource, to make sure these profits continue to benefit regional Australia into the future.”

For more information about the export awards www.exportawards.gov.au/Winners/2015.