June 2020

A message from our CEO

I’m finding it very encouraging to see people out and about in growing numbers as the State opens up and people are finding the new norm in domestic and export seafood markets.
WAFIC has had another busy month with some great outcomes emerging. These are tough times but we are making progress and early signs of progress are emerging.

Click to read more.


Meet your WAFIC Board:
Murray Criddle OAM - WAFIC Chairman

Murray Criddle is a country boy from birth.
Born and raised in Geraldton and the Mid West, Murray has a life-long connection with primary industries and life in WA’s regional centres and has been a strong advocate for regional matters in business and politics.
After three decades of farming, Murray expanded his calling into politics where he felt he could help influence the decision-making process for regional development and increase opportunities to support regional communities and businesses.
During his 15 years as a National Party Parliamentary Member, Murray said his decision making was guided by his understanding of the needs of country people and stemmed from his own experiences and those of his family and friends as they dealt with the unique challenges and hardships of living in isolated and remote centres.
While stimulating regional businesses was always important, it was not his only objective, as Murray saw successful businesses as a vital driver for improving broader community outcomes such as health, communication, education, transport, families and other services.
More recently Murray chaired the Mid West Regional Development Commission where he oversaw a number of major projects that continue to bring significant opportunities and funding into the region.
He is also proud of his work in driving the development of the Horrocks Community Centre which grew from an idea among the sand hills into a thriving community centre when it opened in 2016.
Throughout his life, Murray has retained a passion for sport and is an avid follower of the AFL and cricket.
Murray joined the WAFIC Board as Chairman in 2020 and is looking forward to meeting members and businesses in WA’s regional seafood communities.

Harvest Road eyes new aquaculture opportunities 

As the new kid on the aquaculture block, Harvest Road Group has outlined exciting plans to expand its operations and build capacity for the State’s regional centres by growing Western Australia’s capacity and reputation as a sustainable and efficient source of food protein in years to come. 
With aquaculture bases in Albany, Perth and Carnarvon already established, the company is now looking at further opportunities to build its burgeoning protein food company.

Full story can be read here.

$4 million national seafood marketing campaign approved

With growing consumer demand for local seafood, Seafood Industry Australia’s (SIA) plans to promote local seafood is being met by an eager industry as the Federal Government approves a proposed $4 million advertising campaign to promote Australian seafood to the nation.
The funding will allow the Australian seafood industry to deliver a 12-month national awareness program designed to provide a much needed boost to the Australia seafood industry and its supply chains.

Full story can be found on the WAFIC News website

Finfish nursery to fast-track Mid West aquaculture project

Aquaculture continues to make headlines in Western Australia with the WA Government fast-tracking plans for a Geraldton-based finfish nursery as a catalyst for developing the Midwest Aquaculture Zone (MWADZ).

An operating finfish nursery is an essential component for attracting commercial aquaculture operators.
Read the full story here.


Heather Brayford recognised for exceptional public service

Well known fisheries identity, Heather Brayford, has been awarded the prestigious Public Service Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The news will come as no surprise to anyone who has worked alongside Heather during the periods of enormous change and reshaping of Western Australia’s fisheries management.
Heather, who is currently the Deputy Director General for DPIRD’s Sustainability and Biosecurity pillar was recognised for her exemplary leadership in legislative reform and policy for the sustainability of WA fisheries and aquatic resources.

Heather’s remarkable career is a case study in working your way up having started her public service career in 1986 as a trainee graduate in the Fisheries Department.

Heather ascended through the ranks and held various senior policy positions, culminating in her appointment as Director General of the former Department of Fisheries in 2014, and in doing so, became the first female appointed to the role.

Heather said she has been humbled by the award and by all the messages she has received following the announcement.

A formal ceremony will take place in September for the official presentation of the medal.

Seafood BBQ drop-in events planned  

Following the farewell event for long-time WA fishing identity, Tony Spinella, recently (pictured above), we received a lot of mail suggesting that WAFIC should look at hosting more informal gatherings as an opportunity to bring members together and create an environment where long-time fishers can come alongside the next generation coming through, so they can share stories and learn from one another.

We are now planning to launch this with an informal BBQ get-together at the WAFIC office when the weather clears in Spring.

Based on feedback received, there will be a lot of people looking forward to these events so we’ll keep you informed through social media when the schedule is confirmed.

Chinese importers requesting additional COVID-19 clearances 

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) has advised that the General Administration of Customs of China is seeking declarations, in the form of a Letter of Guarantee, that imported food and edible agricultural products comply with China’s laws, regulations and standards, and with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) advice on COVID-19 and food safety: Guidance for food businesses.

The Letter of Guarantee requires exporters to take all necessary measures to eliminate food safety risks and protect consumer health and safety if cases, or suspected cases, of COVID-19 are detected at the establishment. This request is not specific to Australia.

To meet these additional requirements WAFIC and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) have developed a Letter of Guarantee ‘template’ that authorised Western Australian exporters will be able to use.

While DAWE is in regular contact with its China counterparts and updating them on COVID-19 status  and mitigation, the Letter of Guarantee provides additional support for exporters to minimise risks of delayed processing.

For further information and to access the Letter of Guarantee, please contact Mannie Shea at WAFIC by phone 0452 070 037, or email

Additional IFAM flights announced

The International Freight Assistance mechanism program (IFAM) has confirmed additional air freight subsidies for selected flights from Perth and Melbourne.
A six week schedule of flights using Qatar Airways will fly from Melbourne to Perth before extending on to Kuala Lumpur from this week.
The program will also add a six week schedule of US-bound Virgin Australia services from Melbourne to Los Angeles.
Full details of the outbound flight schedules and freight rates can be viewed here.

Seafood industry submission on proposed changes to Industrial Manslaughter Bill

WAFIC’s call-out to WA seafood industry partners last week has resulted in a large volume of feedback and comments which have been included into the industry response to proposed changes to industrial manslaughter legislation.
The industry submission has now been presented as part of the Ministerial Review Panel process and WAFIC will share the revised draft once the link is available in the public domain.

This issue holds significant consequences for a wide range of industries, including seafood and agriculture, so it’s important that industry members make time to stay informed.

Southern Seafood Producers get together
It’s always good when commercial fishers get together.
Last week the Southern Seafood Producers WA met at WAFIC to update on how the sector is managing in the current environment and share some of the plans to move forward.
The meeting finished with a social gathering to share stories over a few beers in Freo. Great way to meet!
June Safety Updates

This month’s safety update includes news on:
  • AMSA Urges Fishers to Wear Lifejackets after Queensland Trawler Tragedy
  • Proposed changes to Industrial Manslaughter Rules in WA
  • First Case of ‘Industrial Manslaughter’ applied in Queensland
  • Open for Comment - Draft Code of Practice for Occupational Diving in WA.
  • Review of Skippers and Engineers Tickets
  • AMSA Releases Cost Recovery Arrangements – 2020/21
  • Free training for WA apprentices and trainees
 Click here to download the full June Safety updates.
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.


© 2020  WAFIC
COVID-19 information for the commercial fishing industry – health, state and federal government assistance and advice via the WAFIC website
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PO Box 1605, Fremantle WA 6959
T (08) 9432 7708
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