Tuna Australia wins two awards at Queensland Seafood Industry Awards 2024

Rowan Lamason, Kate Lamason, Phil Ravanello and Paul Schenk at the Queensland Seafood Industry Awards 2024.

Tuna Australia received two gongs at the Queensland Seafood Industry Awards 2024, winning the Health and Safety, and Research, Development and Extension Awards.

“These awards recognise our comprehensive research program underpinning our continual improvement strategy to enhance fisher safety, reduce wildlife interactions, and pioneer innovative solutions,” said Tuna Australia CEO David Ellis.

We work closely with our members to develop, research, and drive uptake of evidence-backed solutions to create safer and more sustainable fishing practices.

“We also appreciate the support from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, enabling Tuna Australia to drive progress for the industry."

Research points to safer and more sustainable fishing practices

The two awards recognise Tuna Australia’s research to refine seabird mitigation tools that reduce safety risks for workers while achieving world-leading conservation outcomes.

“We tested alternate ways to make fishing gear sink faster to prevent seabirds from scavenging baits,” said Tuna Australia Program Manager Phil Ravanello.

This was done in collaboration with the University of the Sunshine Coast, by providing data to inform student post graduate manuscripts and opportunities for students (like Lisa Walton) to work alongside industry at sea.

“In addition, we tested various protections and alternate line weight regimes through flyback simulation at the Australian Maritime College in Launceston, Tasmania,” he said.

Tuna Australia won two awards at the Queensland Seafood Industry Awards 2024.

Currently, fishers are required to use weighted swivels to sink their gear away from scavenging seabirds.

But this can lead to dangerous incidents of flybacks, causing serious injuries to the crew.

Our research shows that improved mitigation technologies, such as physical barriers and sliding safety weights to prevent flybacks, can greatly improve worker safety.

“These findings add to the growing body of knowledge about safe and effective mitigation tools, offering benefits for national and international longline fishers.”

Two members win awards

Kate Lamason (L) and Rowan Lamason (R) of Little Tuna with Phil Ravanello at the Queensland Seafood Industry Awards 2024.

Two Tuna Australia members received accolades at the awards ceremony in Brisbane on Friday 15 March 2024.

Little Tuna, based in Cairns, won the Small Business of Year Award.

De Brett Seafood (trading as Mooloolaba Fisheries) won the Best Fish and Chip Shop Award for Fisheries on the Spit in Mooloolaba, Queensland.

All state winners will compete in the National Seafood Awards. The national winners will be announced at the Seafood Directions Conference on 10-12 September 2024 in Hobart, Tasmania.

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