Innovation and sustainability driving WA Seafood Industry Award winners


  • Fourteen Western Australian seafood champions recognised at WA industry awards
  • WA’s Seafood Industry supports an estimated 10,000 jobs
  • Fishing and Aquaculture activity is worth more than $1 billion each year to WA
  • Fourteen Western Australian seafood industry stars last night scooped top honours at the WA Seafood Industry Awards for their professionalism and commitment to supplying some of the world’s finest seafood to local, national and international markets.

    Every two years, the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) hosts the awards to celebrate the industry’s energy, its people, its history and looks forward to new sustainable seafood practices and innovation.

    The trophy for the best in WA’s Seafood Industry, the Michael Kailis Leadership Award, was collected by Jim Mendolia for his decades of positive work as a fisher, innovator, processor and promoter. Mr Mendolia is acclaimed for putting Fremantle sardines on the culinary map.

    Justine Arnold was crowned 2019 Young Achiever for her entrepreneurship in our State’s rapidly expanding aquaculture sector. New to the WA awards this year was the Deckhand Award which was scooped up by enthusiastic abalone deckhand Joel Benn.

    Thirteen WA award winners will now compete in Melbourne in October at the biennial Seafood Directions Conference.

    In 2017, WA won four of the national awards and Leonie Noble and the late Michael Kailis were inducted into the National Seafood Hall of Fame for their leadership, dedication and contributions to the Australian seafood industry.

    As stated by Fisheries and Science Minister Dave Kelly:

    “I applaud the WA winners and awards host, WAFIC, for their commitment to this important industry that supports thousands of WA jobs, many in regional areas.

    “These winners are innovators making the industry safer or more efficient and promoters of quality WA Seafood.

    “There’s no doubt about the leadership qualities of Jim Mendolia, he’s been the friendly face of Fremantle fishing for decades and always strived to deliver quality seafood.

    “He is certainly a very worthy winner of the prestigious 2019 WA Seafood Industry Leadership Award.

    “Well done to Joel Benn for winning the newest Seafood Industry Award – the Deckhand Award. Joel is a young and enthusiastic abalone deckhand from WA’s South-West with a great work ethic.”

    Western Australia’s seafood industry stars were shining brightly in Fremantle overnight, at the 2019 WA Seafood Industry Awards, with excellence acknowledged across 14 categories.

    Award Sponsor Winner Criteria
    Michael Kailis Leadership Award MG Kailis Jim Mendolia Has made a positive and substantial difference to the WA seafood industry over at least 20 years
    Young Achievers Award ConocoPhillips Justine Arnold Under 35 and has made a positive, respected difference to the industry

     Deckhand Award (a WA-only award)

     Austral Fisheries

     Joel Benn

    Shows ongoing passion, work ethic and commitment

    Seafood Industry Promotion Award AJ Baker & Sons Commercial Refrigeration Don Hancey Outstanding efforts to improve the public profile of seafood
     Seafood Industry Producer Award Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

     BP Fishing Pty Ltd

    To a seafood industry primary producer for excellence in the sustainable supply of quality seafood
    People Development Award INPEX Indian Ocean Fresh Australia Pty Ltd Building a better workforce through people development
    Environment Award Woodside Energy Mendolia Seafoods’ plastic- free Burley Brick Reducing adverse seafood industry environmental impact
    Research, Development and Extension Award Santos Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries & Australian Prawn Farmers Association Excellent research and development work leading to activity aimed at improving both sustainability/profit
    Safety Award Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative Paspaley Pearling Company Contributes to improving safety in the seafood industry
    Seafood Business (Large) Award Francis A Jones Endeavour Foods A business from in the seafood supply chain with ten or more staff and a positive public profile
    Seafood Business (Small) Award Bailey’s Marine Fuels Australia Fins Seafood A business with less than 10 full-time staff showing excellence/ innovation/growth
    Seafood Restaurant Award Endeavour Foods Cook & Mason Consistently the best seafood restaurant
    Fish & Chips Award Mareterram Fisheries Ocean and Paddock (Albany) Judged by a panel for consistent quality

     People’s Choice Fish & Chips Award

     Bendotti Exporters
     Pinjarra Fish & Chips
     Consumers voted it best fish & chip shop
    /Public Release. View in full here.

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