WAFIC NEWS    May 2020

A message from our CEO

After the frenzy of activity throughout March and April it’s been nice to have a few minutes to gather thoughts and look forward to assisting our industry towards a gradual recovery.
While there is still a tough road ahead for many of our businesses, we are seeing regular, positive signs with more on the horizon.
Click to read more.

Are you experiencing any export trade restrictions? 

Prior to COVID-19, potential export trade access restrictions have been raised as concerns by some Western Australian seafood exporters.

It is very important that any form of overt or potential barrier to trade, any market access issues for WA seafood are recorded by the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) and copied to the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD). 

These issues are then referred by WAFIC to the peak national seafood body Seafood Industry Australia, and as necessary by DPIRD to the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Such restrictions may come about by the request for additional – previously not required – certifications, ongoing regular delays in product clearance, anything that may be deemed a detriment or imposition to your usual export activities. If you are exporting via a third-party it would be greatly appreciated if you could please pass this request to them for their attention.

This covers seafood market access issues for all countries, but does not cover current COVID-19-related air freight or other related issues

Please forward any feedback to Mannie Shea at WAFIC by phone 0452 070 037 or email

Social responsibility is a key driver for seafood sustainability certification 

A new research report released by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is shining light on the importance of sustainability and social responsibility as drivers for new market access, community engagement and expanding sales pipelines.

It also suggests that fisheries benefit from a commitment to long-term sustainability which will safeguard ocean health as well as their own livelihoods.

The research surveyed 33 stakeholders across seven commercial fisheries in Western Australia and one Commonwealth fishery to understand the core drivers and impacts that MSC certification has provided to them.
A copy of the report can be viewed and downloaded at the WAFIC News website.

Jobs website targets seasonal labour and working holiday makers

With businesses re-opening and intrastate borders being relaxed the need for short-term or seasonal labour is increasing across WA’s regional centres.
To support this need, the Food Alliance WA network, in partnership with DPIRD, has set up the ‘Jobs in WA Food and Ag’ website to provide jobseekers and employers with information about jobs in Western Australia's primary industries where COVID-19 movement restrictions apply and how seasonal labour for some primary industries may be affected. 
Impacted sectors potentially include commercial fishing, aquaculture, oyster, abalone and pearl operators, as well as land-based operations such as broadacre cropping, mixed cropping/livestock enterprises, livestock enterprises including sheep and cattle, vegetable producers, fruit and berry producers, table and wine grape producers, avocado producers and dairy producers.

Jobs in WA Food & Ag is not a recruitment service, but more a free-of-charge employment communications resource to help organisations find employees through social media and a weekly mailout to jobseeker subscribers.
You’ll find more information at or contact Kayla Evans (GIWA Careers in Grain, Program Manager) on 0428 843 318 or
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Book Review: The story of my life by Antonino Spinella

Coming from a long line of fishermen, it would be easy to assume Tony Spinella would naturally follow in their footsteps, but Tony’s life took a number of turns and diversions as a navy sailor, baker, cook, labourer and roadie for award-winning actress Ingrid Bergman, before the call of the sea lured him to Western Australia’s MidWest coast and on to Darwin.
Tony is a well-known WA fishing identity and his life has been captured in a book which makes a great read and will appeal to those who have passion for the history of the industry, its heritage and its people.

Check out the full review on the WAFIC website, where you can also place an order for the book which is already in short supply following early sales.

An emerging rock oyster species is set to expand WA's aquaculture potential  

Western Australia’s aquaculture industry is again attracting attention after reaching the first milestone in a research project to grow the tropical rock oyster industry across northern Australia.
The emerging Black Lip Rock Oyster species is well suited to rapid growth in northern Australian waters with a new breeding program, which is part of a three-year research project, set to develop the industry in WA and the Northern Territory.
The oyster is a fast grower and expected to perform well in tropical conditions, making it a good economic option for farmers to consider and potentially attracting investment to expand the industry.
Read the full story at the WAFIC News website.

New online program for women in leadership 

Women In Seafood Australasia has launched its first ever C-Leaders online program specifically designed as a leadership pathway for women in the seafood industry wishing to improve their leadership and advocacy skills.
The course will help you learn about your unique leadership style, build confidence, enhance awareness and assist you with ways to better work with others with differing techniques.
The course is structured as a six-week program, requiring a 60-minute attendance each Tuesday night commencing on 23 June 2020.
The core topics include self- leadership, working effectively with others, planning, advocacy and influencing and confidence and resilience, as well as elements of personal safety.
The program includes an exclusive interactive session on Tuesday 14 July 2020 with Australian Seafood Industry leaders and dynamic women sharing their leadership journey experience.
This program is free to members of Women in Seafood Australasia. If you would like to become a member of WISA please complete the membership form on our website.

Further information on the course along with registration details can be found at

Natalia joins Western Rock Lobster team

Natalia Perez Haedo has joined the Western Rock Lobster (WRL) team as the Marketing and Communications Officer to support WRL’s communications strategy, including all internal and external communications, media relations and community engagement.

Natalia's role will play a vital part in promoting the industry to increase the community’s awareness, understanding and building trust in how it operates.

Prior to joining WRL, Natalia worked as a Marketing Officer for a Perth-based company for three years, and before that she worked as an Events Coordinator in Buenos Aires (her home city) for several years.

On a personal level, Natalia has a vibrant personality with many passions including food, food provenance, community, swimming and yoga.

‘Natalia was unanimously selected for her skill set and personality fit. She is intelligent, considered, capable and highly organised. She has fresh ideas and a positive work ethic that will bring a creative and hands-on approach to meeting our marketing goals,’ said WRL chief executive Matt Taylor.

Join us for World Oceans Day

How healthy are our oceans and how can we best manage them for sustainability and food supply?
Join us at  World Oceans Day on 8 June for a day of learning and discussion with five virtual sessions featuring guest speakers including politicians, industry leaders, marine scientists, entrepreneurs, free divers and environmentalists.
WA Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley and WAFIC Chief Executive Alex Ogg will both be participating in sessions throughout the day, so check it out and register at

Free Course: Upgrade your communications and engagement skills

WAFIC has been working with Seafood Industry Victoria, in partnership with the Federal Government to develop a new online training program that is free and available to those in the seafood industry looking to upgrade their communications and community engagement skills.

The training package has been expertly developed by the Australian Maritime and Fisheries Academy and is designed to help students and industry partners gain knowledge and practical skills that can be transferred into their business or workplace.

The course is structured for online learning so participants can study anywhere and anytime, with a one day face-to-face training session to complete the training.

If you or someone in your team would like to register or find out more, please do so quickly as registrations close in early June 2020.

We already have around 40 confirmed registrations so be quick.

Registration information and contact details are at the WAFIC website.

Seafood in the media
During May, WAFIC and our seafood chef partners worked with the media to develop a story promoting a number of WA’s seafood varieties.
The story covered a range of popular and lesser-known varieties along with some tips on cooking and appeared in local newspapers across the State.
You can check it out at the WAFIC News website.
Here’s your chance to expand your export sales

Export-ready Western Australian seafood suppliers looking to grow should consider registering their business with the Australian Food Catalogue (AFC), which is an initiative of Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL).
The business-matching website offers a free link to register your company and products, which then allows qualified international buyers to review and assess your company and products and connect directly with you. 
Food Innovation Australia Limited is partnered with Austrade to qualify all international buyers that join AFC.
The Australian Food Catalogue allows international buyers to browse profile pages across 100 product categories and directly connect with Australian companies that are export-ready.
Once registered, you can set up a profile page with details of your company, your products and export markets, which can include photos and product descriptions, as well as promotional collateral and social media links.
Find out more at
If you have a story or important information to share about WA's fishing industry, please email your contributions to and we will try and include them in our next newsletter.


© 2019  WAFIC
COVID-19 information for the commercial fishing industry – health, state and federal government assistance and advice via the WAFIC website
Food Alliance WA jobs in Food and Ag website is at:
L1, 56 Marine Tce. Fremantle WA 6160
PO Box 1605, Fremantle WA 6959
T (08) 9432 7708
F (08) 9432 7700
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