A message from our CEO

Well, April has been a rollercoaster ride at WAFIC and across the seafood industry with a frenzy of back-to-back meetings and a seemingly endless number of phone calls and video conferences, but as a team we are hitting some big runs for the survival of our industry.
You will certainly have noted that the WA Government has approved the seafood industry’s financial assistance package, along with a range of additional measures.

Read more.

Industry farewells two icons 

Western Australia’s commercial fishing and pearling industries lost two of its pioneers and champions this month with the passing of Dr Patricia Kailis and Tony Jurinovich.
Dr Patricia Kailis
Dr Kailis was a remarkable person by any measure and a glance over her achievements will make you wonder how any person could fit so much into one lifetime.
In addition to her seafood industry reputation as a pioneer and champion, risk taker and innovator, Dr Kailis also established an outstanding reputation for her work as a medical doctor, philanthropist, genetic counsellor, humanitarian, disabilities advocate and as a working mother.
But at her heart, Dr Kailis was most passionate about family and friends.
WAFIC’s team would like to offer its sincere condolences to the Kailis family, as well as our colleagues and friends within the MG Kailis Group.
To help share some of Dr Kailis’ legacy, we’ve packaged a few items that celebrate her life including a magazine article of 2013 marking her 80th year and an audio file of the ABC radio interview earlier this month with her daughter Dr Maria Kailis.
Our thoughts are with all our industry colleagues who were touched by this extraordinary woman.

Tony Jurinovich
April also saw the passing of another fishing industry stalwart, Tony Jurinovich, who passed away peacefully on 21 April after a 27-month battle with cancer.

Fishing was in Tony's blood from an early age as he spent his spare time fishing off Fremantle Wharf and selling his catch while spending his evenings working in a local fish factory processing crays, turtles and salmon.

Tony's love for fishing saw him connected to the sea throughout his life, investing in, and working on, a number of fishing boats, before circumstances saw him step into administrative roles with local fishing and lobster associations where his vision, leadership, integrity and passion for fairness was respected by all.

While many knew Tony as a fisherman and an innovator who was constantly looking for new and better ways of fishing, 'Tony the boy' was at heart a caring, considerate and gentle individual who valued family, friends and industry. With his wife 'Toni the girl' beside him, they were a formidable team. He will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Toni, Marc, Mardie and families whom he loved so much.

Government approves seafood industry financial assistance package

After weeks of negotiation and discussion, Western Australia’s Fisheries Minister, Peter Tinley, has approved the seafood industry’s COVID-19 recovery and stimulus package, which was presented to the Premier and senior government Ministers on 25 March 2020.

The package contains a number of key measures to help generate cashflows for the industry, while allowing it time to stabilise and recover.
Click here for more on the approval, along with Minister Tinley’s confirmation letter.

COVID-19 Financial Assistance Fact Sheet now available 

WAFIC and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD Fisheries) have established a refreshed and efficient working partnership which is focussed on streamlining processes to fast-track delivery of COVID-19 response. This includes the development of information on the COVID-19 financial assistance program that is easily accessible by members of the broader Western Australian commercial fishing industry.
DPIRD has now produced a Fact Sheet outlining the key elements of this crisis initiative. The COVID-19 Relief Measures for commercial fishing in WA Fact Sheet – is a living document that will be regularly updated.
Further information and a copy of the fact sheet can be found on the WAFIC News site.

Department of Transport confirms waiver details for commercial pen and mooring holders 

After some weeks of discussion, WAFIC now has clarity on the waiving of pen and mooring fees specific to Department of Transport (DoT) managed facilities in Western Australia and is expecting further clarity about those vessels moored in Port Authority facilities around the State shortly.

As part of the State Government’s financial assistance package for the seafood industry, the DoT is waiving fees for pens, mooring and harbourside leasings for existing commercial fishing and tourism charter vessel customers at its boat harbours, marinas and mooring control areas for a 12-month period.

More information and a fact sheet can be downloaded here.

New arrangements to secure seasonal labour and working holiday makers

New resources have been released to help businesses which employ working holiday makers and other seasonal labour that may require special arrangements.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has published a new Fact Sheet covering a range of COVID-19 workplace topics including exemptions from the traditional six-month work limitation with a single employer, travel across regional borders and other visa-related questions and information.
Download the Fact Sheet here.

Jobs in WA Food and Ag website
To further match employers with job seekers, WAFIC and our other primary industry “food” partners have formed a new network - Food Alliance WA.
Food Alliance WA was launched this month featuring a new jobs website to help connect workers and employers whilst adhering to, and being alert of, all COVID-19 restrictions. The website offers information on job opportunities and work-based requirements and how job seekers can find work in WA’s food production, farming and fishing sectors.
The Jobs in Food and Ag website is at:
Make sure you register online and subscribe for updates on job openings and important information about working in Western Australia's fishing, food and agriculture sectors.

New air freight network to boost seafood exports - UPDATE AND RE-REGISTER NOW!

The International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) has now formed featuring a network of 15 air freight service providers and freight forwarders to accelerate delivery of agricultural and seafood exports into key overseas markets.

This federal government initiative makes its decisions based on the national interest with an emphasis on re-opening priority markets and working to ensure Australia does not lose its market share, so high-value products into high-priority markets are important.

If you submitted your IFAM information prior to 16 April, you need to update and do it again. Re-submit through the link so they can understand your product, freight and destination market requirements.

You’ll find more information at the WAFIC News site.


New electronic G2G travel app launched  

The new app, G2G PASS, has been launched to provide an efficient way of applying for and demonstrating proof of an exemption before travelling to, or within Western Australia.
The electronic pass is expected to streamline the process for travelling interstate or intrastate for essential work.
The G2G PASS is now live and available for use by industry and the general public, if they are essential workers or are exempt to travel.
Click to read more.

Contractual or share-fishers may be eligible for JobKeeper payments

Our team has been looking at the issue of JobKeeper payments and has found that contractual/Share fishers who are operating as a business, with their own business name and ABN, can be classified as Sole Traders, potentially making them eligible for the $1,500 per fortnight per person Jobkeeper program.
Sole traders can be classified even if the fisher is the only person in the business.
Eligibility is quite specific but you’ll find more information on the WAFIC News site.

One stop shop for COVID-19 information

We are working with our industry and government partners to regularly update the content and links for COVID-19 information and have developed a special hotlink on our website for the latest news and information on health, transport, financial assistance packages and travel exemptions.

You’ll find all you need at WAFIC's COVID-19 link.

Keep sharing the Seafood Love!

We need your help - Let’s get our Seafood social networks working together to Share the Seafood Love!!!

COVID-19 is having a significant financial impact on the seafood industry - in effect from ocean to plate - but together we can do something about it.

Social media is an extremely effective and almost cost-free way to achieve our goal of sharing the seafood love, especially if we work across our combined social networks, using simple tools such as ‘likes’ and ’shares’.

We've been sharing posts over the last month and reached tens of thousands of people. As soon as you have read this message PLEASE start following other seafood-related groups and tagging members in their post, sharing posts and copying posts from one form of social media to another. By doing this, we can all exponentially and quickly share these positive messages across our seafood groups and the broader community.

Our combined reach across social media will touch many tens of thousands of potential seafood buyers, keeping people informed during these difficult times and also providing a larger audience to engage with during the recovery phase.

Click to read more.
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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