Gavin Myers, owner of Southern Ocean Express (SOE) grew up on a small coastal farm north west of Port Lincoln, attending primary school at Lake Wangary, and then Port Lincoln High. He began working at SOE in 1996 as a labourer and truck driver and has worked across all areas of the business, gaining a strong understanding of the industry.
Southern Ocean Express was created in 1986 primarily as a logistics and facilitating company for the Port Lincoln tuna industry when it first began exporting tuna to Japan. “I bought the company in 2006 when it was still primarily focused on service and logistics,” Gavin said. “Today sees SOE’s portfolio of services expanding into buying/selling, promoting, educating, and story-telling.”
Gavin considers buying Southern Ocean Express in 2006 as his first professional achievement. More recently, he won the best “Large Business” title at the South Australian Seafood Industry Awards in 2019.
“I don’t see it as a job. Responsibility of ownership means it’s a lifestyle. Finding purpose in what I do and the direction I see the business going. I love that through the opportunities continually being presented, I’ve developed life skills which have helped me grow as a person, and presented the chance to be able to make a real difference.
SOE has been a processor of mussels since the beginning of the Port Lincoln mussel industry, and has played an integral role in its growth. This chapter is soon to close however as the processing factory transfers / relocates to Eyre Peninsula Seafood. “At this point I’ll be turning my focus to other sustainable species. I want to educate people about the Trap-Caught Ocean Jacket (Greenly Island Kawahagi). This is a fishery that’s been around for 30+ years, but is fair to say nearly nobody knows about, and it’s a wonderful fishery with an extremely high quality product,” Gavin said.
“With the brand only recently having been created we have the exciting challenge of showcasing this quality product and making it accessible to all. There are so many changes happening in our industry in general, from management of fish stocks, to licencing and policies. Our focus will be to look for more new and sustainable alternatives going forward. ”
When asked for his vision, Gavin responds “My vision is that our industry, and our public, become more conscious of, and behave in a way that protects our precious resources. We need to have a greater respect for our industry and environment. Whether we consume seafood or not, our sheer existence here on this planet means we take from the ocean in some way or another. We cannot be ignorant of this, and we should be trying to give back however we can.”