Sustainable Seafood Awards 2023 Revealed
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council and the Marine Stewardship Council co-hosted the annual Sustainable Seafood Awards at Melbourne Zoo to highlight the Australian champions of responsible seafood farming and sustainable fishing practices.
With Sustainable Seafood Week (27 March – 3rd April) and Easter (7-9 April) on the horizon, it is crucial to maintain awareness of responsible seafood consumption.
A remarkable blend of individuals and organisations, ranging from retailers to producers, and a motivated young person in the industry emerged as winners for their noteworthy contributions to responsible aquaculture at the event.
The recipient of the ASC Best Responsible Producer Award was Pacific Reef Tigers, a prawn farm located in north Queensland near Ayr, certified by ASC. They were acknowledged for their pioneering water quality control system, RegenAqua™, which effectively purifies wastewater to a degree where it can be recycled. The technology diminishes nutrient pollution to levels lower than the international best practice of 5mg/L Nitrogen and 1mg/L Phosphorus while being both carbon neutral and devoid of chemicals. The innovation not only minimises the environmental impact of the farm but also elevates the efficiency of its operations.
Yumbah was the next standout achiever, recognised with the ASC Above and Beyond Award for its efforts towards Indigenous engagement and initiatives to minimise energy use, packaging, and plastics. Additionally, Yumbah received an honourable mention in the ASC Best Responsible Producer Award group for their holistic strategy towards handling and conveying environmental responsibilities.
Caleb Trenberth, who serves as the Propagation Manager at Yumbah, received high commendation for the ASC Young Person in Aquaculture Award. He manages the propagation of six million abalone yearly, which are supplied to both the Yumbah Port Lincoln (South Australia) and Narrawong (Victoria) farms.
Yumbah, which possesses ASC certification for several abalone farms across South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria, is the primary sustainable and responsible abalone farming company in Australia. Their certified farms include Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island, Narrawong, and Bicheno.
ALDI Australia was the recipient of the ASC Best Retailer Award, recognised for their comprehensive approach to responsible reporting and policies. Harley and Johns, a seafood store in Wollongong, was highly commended for the same award.
Furthermore, ALDI Australia's Specially Selected smoked rainbow trout fillets won the ASC Best Product Award for being responsibly farmed and expertly smoked to achieve a rich, smoky flavour. This recognition highlights ALDI's dedication to providing sustainable and high-quality certified seafood options to its customers.
The KB Food Company was recognised as the winner of the ASC Best New Product category with their inventive creation, Fish Creatures. This product is specially designed to capture children's attention and teach them about sustainable and responsible fishing practices playfully and educationally. Fish Creatures includes various seafood types, such as fish fingers or nuggets, that are molded into amusing animal or creature forms to make them more attractive and enjoyable for children to eat. The aim is to encourage and inspire the next generation of responsible seafood enthusiasts.
The ASC Young Person in Aquaculture Award was presented to Jody Mulholland from Proserpine, Queensland, who works for Tassal and has made remarkable progress in improving sustainability management at Tassal's ASC-certified Proserpine Prawn farm.
Tassal, on the other hand, received high commendation in the ASC Above and Beyond Award category for their endeavours to decrease greenhouse gases at their ASC-certified salmon farms located in southeastern Tasmania. Their switch to electric pumps resulted in reduced noise pollution and a million litres of diesel consumption.
Mures, a Tasmanian seafood supplier and restaurant owner based in Hobart, was also acknowledged for their consistent dedication to responsible aquaculture and the dissemination of information about responsible aquaculture production to consumers in both their retail and food service outlets. As a result, they were awarded the Aquaculture Champion 2023 Award.
Duncan Leadbitter, the Australian head of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, expressed his delight, stating that he was impressed not only by the aquaculture farms located in some of the country's most beautiful areas but also by the overall supply chain that has gone above and beyond to guarantee that our seafood is sustainably sourced. As aquaculture is a burgeoning sector in rural Australia, it is extremely rewarding to witness rising opportunities for young people to access challenging and fulfilling careers in the Australian seafood industry. He congratulated all of the winners and everyone who is working hard to turn responsible seafood consumption into a reality in Australia.
Source: Australian Rural and Regional News