ASC’s Australian awards celebrate sustainable seafood

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Pacific Reef Tigers, a prawn farm near Ayr in north Queensland, has been named as Best Responsible Producer in the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s annual Sustainable Seafood Awards in Australia.

The company was praised for its innovative water quality control system that cleans wastewater to a level where it can be reused, reducing nutrient pollution to below the global best practice of 5mg/litre nitrogen and 1mg/litre phosphorus. The process is both carbon-neutral and chemical-free.

The ASC awards took place earlier today at Melbourne Zoo. Also recognised at the event was shellfish farmer Yumbah, which took home the ASC Above and Beyond Award for its Indigenous engagement and measures to reduce energy use, packaging, and plastics. Yumbah was also highly commended in the ASC Best Responsible Producer Award category for its integrated approach to managing and communicating environmental responsibilities.

Caleb Trenberth, Propagation Manager at Yumbah was also highly commended for the ASC Young Person in Aquaculture Award.

Yumbah is Australia’s leading sustainable and responsible abalone farming company, with several ASC-certified abalone farms across South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

Taking home the ASC Best Retailer Award was ALDI Australia, which was recognised for its overall approach to responsible reporting and policies. Wollongong seafood store Harley and Johns was highly recommended for the same award.

In addition, ALDI Australia’s Specially Selected smoked rainbow trout fillets have won the ASC Best Product Award.

The KB Food Company won the ASC Best New Product category with its innovative product, Fish Creatures. This playful and educational product is specifically designed to engage children in the world of seafood and teach them about responsible and sustainable fishing practices.

The ASC Young Person in Aquaculture Award went to Jody Mulholland from Proserpine, Queensland, an employee of Tassal who has made incredible strides in enhancing sustainability management at Tassal’s ASC-certified Proserpine Prawn farm. Tassal was also highly commended in the ASC Above and Beyond Award category for their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases at its ASC-certified salmon farms in south-eastern Tasmania. A shift to electric pumps has resulted in reductions in noise and a million litres of diesel.

Jody Mulholland receives her ASC award from Duncan Leadbitter

Last but not least, Tasmanian, Hobart-based seafood supplier and restaurant owner Mures was acknowledged for its ongoing commitment to responsible aquaculture and making information about responsible aquaculture production available to consumers in both their retail and food service outlets, winning the Aquaculture Champion 2023 Award.

Duncan Leadbitter, Australian head of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, said: “Not only do we want to recognize the aquaculture farms that are located in some of the most beautiful parts of the country, but we are also wholeheartedly impressed by the overall supply chain that has taken the extra step to ensure our seafood is responsibly sourced. With aquaculture being a growth industry in rural Australia it is very rewarding to see growing opportunities for young people to have access to challenging and rewarding careers in the Australian seafood industry.

“Congratulations to all the winners and everyone working hard to make responsible seafood a reality in Australia!”

Caleb Trenberth, Propagation Manager at Yumbah

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