Growing up in the small fishing town of Karumba, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, in the late 1970s it was time spent with his grandfather making nets that sparked Arthur “Arty” Raptis’ love for the seafood industry.
“I remember him teaching me how to make nets,” he said.
“How to put twine on the needle, where to sew and how to sew. Just spending time with my Grandfather as an eight-year-old boy was pretty cool.
“It’s that inter-generational thing, my Father, my Grandfather and me, spending time together learning the trade. Yeah, it was cool.”
Now CEO of Raptis Premium Seafood Arty is the third generation of Raptis’ to lead the company.
Raptis Premium Seafood was formed in 1930 by Arty’s Grandfather, Arthur Raptis Senior (Sr), and is now one of the largest privately owned, vertically integrated fishing companies in Australia.
While growing up in Karumba, prawn fishing was on the rise and most families in Karumba worked in the industry. Arty’s Dad was an entrepreneur who would buy boats and spent time building the business.
“Growing up in Karumba set the path for my future and my life,”Arty said.
In Year 9 Arty was officially added to the payroll and continued to work for Raptis Premium Seafoods part-time while completing school and university.
“My biggest achievement is my career,” he said.
“This year I celebrate 30 years working in the seafood industry. From factory hand to CEO, I have worked in every department.
“What I love about my job is the people. This in an industry where you have to engage and stay connected. I have a relationship with all of my staff and I’ve done their job at some point.”
Arty said staff are important to the business and they place emphasis on OH&S, as well as the well-being of their staff.
“Having the right work/life balance is vital,” he said.
“All the way from fatigue at sea, to being more conscious about personal and family commitments. Being a family business, I believe we have a good balance and I place value on the well-being of our staff.”
Raptis Premium Seafoods continues to expand, develop and grow under Arty’s leadership.
“We invest a significant amount of money back into our industry,” Arty said.
“During the last five years we have grown our fleet from 10 to 15 boats.”
Recently re-branding the entire company to add value to their products, Arty said Raptis Premium Seafood is always looking for ways to do things better.
Raptis Premium Seafood now own and operate 15 commercial fishing vessels in the Northern Prawn Fishery, Northern Territory Demersal Fishery and The Great Australian Bight Trawl Fishery.
They have accreditation with the Marine Stewardship Council.