A man with a name perfectly suited to his job has been honoured for a lifetime of dedication to the Northern Territory’s seafood industry.
Robert Fish was awarded the Industry Ambassador Award at the Seafood Council’s Atlantis 2022 NT Seafood Industry Awards.
He was chair of the Seafood Council for a decade and is widely credited with developing the organisation into a professional representative body.
Rob is renowned for his massive contribution to the industry, including helping to:
negotiate access agreements following the Blue Mud Bay decision;
implement the successful Support NT Caught campaign;
negotiate the only Australian seafood labelling laws for dining venues in the Territory; and
gain industry and government support to move the Territory’s offshore fisheries to modernised output-based management – an arrangement that won the Chief Minister’s Award for Excellence in 2012.
Seafood Council chief executive Katherine Winchester says: “The Industry Ambassador Award is always one of the hardest for judges as all nominees are highly respected among their professional peers.”
“Rob was an unwavering and a strategic leader as Chair of the NTSC and it is fantastic to celebrate his and all the winners’ contributions to progress the seafood industry.”
Another leading seafood industry figure was also honoured when Niall Atkinson’s Mr Barra won the Business Award (Small).
The business has enjoyed consistent growth since Niall took over from his late dad 11 years ago.
His team adapted to the hardship of covid-19 restrictions by redeveloping the wholesale business to meet consumer needs.
Mr Barra used social media pages and a reworked website to broaden the reach and consumer base.
The business engaged with customers to build strong relationships, as well as continuing to support NT seafood media campaigns and local community organisations.
A face-to-face event for the Atlantis 2022 NT Seafood Industry Awards was not held because of covid-19.
“Now more than ever it is important that we celebrate the triumphs, take a breath and celebrate the passion and people who work hard to supply premium seafood locally, nationally and internationally,” Ms Winchester says.
Industry Ambassador Award
Sponsor: Darwin Port
Winner: Robert Fish
Young Achiever Award
Sponsor: Atlantis Fisheries Consulting Group
Winner: Rebecca Oliver
Business Award (Small)
Sponsor: Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
Winner: Mr Barra
Business Award (Large)
Sponsor: Sydney Fish Market
Winner: Monsoon Aquatics
Take-Away Fish & Chips Award
Sponsor: Seafood Industry Australia/Fisheries Research & Development Corporation
Winner: Rescue Me Food Services
Sponsor: Wild Barra Fisheries Pty Ltd
Winner: Phat Mango by Martin the Chef
Environment Stewardship Award
Sponsor: Humpty Doo Barramundi Pty Ltd
Winner: NT Offshore Net and Line Licensee Committee and Fisheries Division Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
Sponsor: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Highly Commended: Michael O’Brien of Australia Bay Seafoods
Primary Producer Award
Sponsor: Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
Highly Commended: Wild Barra Fisheries Pty Ltd
People Development Award
Sponsor: Tasmanian Seafoods
Highly Commended: Humpty Doo Barramundi Pty Ltd
The Seafood Council is the peak body of the seafood industry in the Territory.
Its members hold more than 200 commercial fishing licences in the NT and have 190 vessels operating in 15 different wild harvest and aquaculture fisheries.
Through its trade and processing sector, the industry harvests more than 10,000 tonnes of fish and aquatic life each year.
Professional fishing operations, including seafood wholesalers, processors and retailers, contribute $136 million to the Territory economy each year and support 940 jobs.
The Seafood Council’s vision for the Territory seafood industry is a trusted, stable and prosperous industry that is continually earning its social licence to operate.
The NT Seafood Industry Awards were established to recognise and celebrate excellence and achievements within the industry.