Saturday, September 8th, 2012
Austral Fisheries has been awarded the SeaWeb 2012 Seafood Champion award at the 10th International Seafood Summit in Hong Kong. The annual Seafood Champion Awards celebrate leaders in the seafood community who have made significant strides in improving practices and awareness of sustainable seafood.

“This year’s Seafood Champion Award winners represent a truly diverse and international group of leaders signaling the tremendous growth in the sustainable seafood movement over the past few years,” said Dawn M. Martin, President of SeaWeb. “Each one of these Champions has a unique and important story to tell of how they came to embracing sustainability as an essential component of their strategy and business plans,” she continued.

Austral's award was largely due to its commitment to the very highest global environmental standards in fisheries resources management. Austral’s company logo of “sustainable seafood” is evidenced with independent certification by the Marine Stewardship Council for well managed and sustainable fisheries being received for the two Australian Toothfish fisheries and the Mackerel Icefish fishery in Australia's sub-Antarctic waters, as well as the pending certification of Australia's Northern Prawn Fishery, which are the four Australian fisheries in which the company operates.

In addition, Austral has been instrumental in creating and supporting industry bodies committed to sustainable fishing practices. Austral Fisheries initiated COLTO (the Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators), a global industry coalition created in 2003 to eliminate illegal fishing for toothfish, and to promote sustainable toothfish fisheries. Austral has also been significant supporters of Australian industry groups such as the Commonwealth Fisheries Association, promoting sustainable, healthy and profitable fisheries.

Austral is actively engaged in research partnerships with the Australian Government on marine issues as diverse as fisheries biology and marine technology, including acoustic recording of micro-nekton and plankton concentrations, underwater cameras, and development of mitigation measures to further reduce any effects of fishing on the marine environment.

Austral CEO, David Carter, was “delighted the company has been recognised for the years of hard work put into the health of our fisheries. With Australia’s rights based fisheries management approach, and solid support from the Government for fisheries resources management based on science, we strongly believe that by looking after our fisheries, good things will follow.” Mr. Carter acknowledged the importance of Austral’s relationships between industry, government, conservation and science agencies and gave particular credit to Austral staff and crew for their hard work and belief in sustainable seafood.

He went on to say “The MSC is the global gold standard in independent certification of sustainable and well managed fisheries. We began our links with MSC as the first industry company in the world to join with Unilever and WWF to support the concept. Our first participation in a MSC certified fishery was the WA Rock Lobster fishery in 2000. Following that, in 2006, our Heard Island Mackerel Icefish was the first fin-fish in Australia to be certified by MSC, and this year we have followed up with the Heard Island toothfish fishery, the Macquarie Island toothfish fishery, and the Northern Prawn Fishery is only weeks away from final certification.”

“Our successes when working with others have been particularly pleasing - we’ve seen the combined efforts of COLTO with conservation groups, governments, scientists and international agencies virtually eliminate illegal fishing of toothfish, and develop seabird mitigation measures that mean there are now near-zero catches of seabirds in the southern ocean fisheries. To see sustainable, healthy toothfish stocks rebuilt in the Antarctic region, and be independently certified as such by MSC is a huge achievement.”

In 2011 Austral Fisheries won the WA Fishing Industry Council Environment Award and was a finalist in the National Seafood Industry Environment Award, an award they won in 2007.

Press release from SeaWeb can be found at:

Further information:

Austral Fisheries: David Carter +61 412 198 595

COLTO: Martin Exel +61 413 595 532

Contact Profile

Austral Fisheries

Austral Fisheries is one of Australia’s leading commercial fishing companies, specialising in producing MSC certified Patagonian Toothfish and Mackerel Icefish, as well as wild ocean caught prawns for the world markets.
David Carter
P: +61 412 198 595

Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators

The Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators (COLTO) is a fishing industry body comprised of legal toothfish operators, gear suppliers and retailers. COLTO was established in 2003 to eliminate illegal fishing for toothfish, and to promote sustainable toothfish fisheries.
Martin Exel
P: +61 413 595 532


Austral Fisheries, Seafood Champion, SeaWeb, toothfish, MSC



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