Wildcatch Advisory Committee

In July 2023, The Wildcatch Advisory Committee (WAC) was formed to provide strategic direction and leadership to further the prosperity of the Australian wildcatch sector.  

As a SIA advisory committee, the WAC will consider the issues listed below, and other subsequent related issues in line with SIA’s Key Member Priority List and to advise the CEO on appropriate action. 

The key objectives of the WAC are to: 

  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive action plan for the benefit of the Australian wildcatch sector; 
  • Oversee the execution of the action plan through SIA personnel; 
  • Monitor and assess activities for effectiveness and value to industry; 
  • Provide knowledge and advice to SIA personnel to respond to government and stakeholder consultation as required. 
  • Act within the established SIA governance structure, subject to SIA board guidelines. 

The WAC shall make recommendations on commercial impacts and policy developments that may arise in relation to Australia’s wildcatch fisheries and monitor related international and local Government policies.  

The below WAC Action Plan provides a roadmap that outlines the goals, objectives, tasks, projects and timelines for the Committee. It will assist the WAC to function efficiently in accordance with its purpose and in alignment with the key priority areas identified by SIA.

The Australian wildcatch industry is a vital contributor to Australia’s economy, culture, and culinary heritage providing high-quality, safe and sustainably-harvested seafood to meet strong market demand. However, the industry and its many sectors face a range of impediments including regulatory challenges, increasing costs, climate change impacts, animal welfare, and changing community values. In 2021-2022, the Australian wildcatch harvest was 178, 017 tonnes, valued at AUD 1.51 billion. This represented 44% of total gross value of production (GVP) of Australian fisheries and aquaculture production. These figures continue to indicate a wildcatch sector GVP decline, consistent with the last two decades, from a high of AUD 1.82 billion in 2000-2001. WAC’s establishment provides the opportunity to review and re-imagine what the Australian wildcatch industry should aspire to be, given the ever-changing environment in which it operates.

Meet SIA's Wildcatch Advisory Committee

Tricia Beatty is the founder and managing director of her own consultancy, Fish Beatty consultancy.  The consultancy provides project management, industry liaison specialising in the commercial fishing industry and independent facilitation of meetings.

Tricia has recently retired from her position as the Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Professional Fishers Association (PFA), a role that she held for over 10 years serving the wildcatch industry of NSW.  

Although she is known throughout the industry for her role and contributions as the CEO of the NSW PFA, she has had significant previous experience in a diversity of roles; as a Fisheries Manager for 10 years within Northern Territory Fisheries, managing the Spanish Mackerel, Offshore Net and Line, and Aquarium Fisheries; as the Aquatic Resource Manager for the Recreational Fishing Development Unit managing and developing recreational fishing and guided fishing.  In addition, working as a Research Assistance with the University of Queensland and as a Parks & Wildlife Officer in QLD National Parks & Wildlife Service.

She has served on many differing boards and advisory groups over the years. The vice chair of the NSW Seafood Industry Council, as well as a long-time serving director on the Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries. She was a member of the Australian Maritime Safety Agency’s Fishing Industry Advisory Committee, the Commonwealth Temperate East Marine Park Advisory Committee, NSW Research Advisory Committee, NSW Natural Disaster Advisory Council, the NSW Cultural Fishing Stakeholder Working Group, the NSW Food Authority’s Seafood Industry Forum and the Solitary Island Marine Park Advisory Group. You can get in contact with Tricia via [email protected] or 0461 474 185

Bo Carne was born in Darwin but is of Jabirr Jabirr and Bardi descent from the Dampier Peninsular in WA.  He is the Chief Executive Officer for the newly established Aboriginal Sea Company which is made up of membership from across the Anindilyakwa, Tiwi and Northern Land Councils. Bo left his role as Director Local Decision Making (LDM) Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet (DCMC) to join the ASC in June 2022. Prior to joining DCMC, Bo worked with NT Fisheries for 17 years, influencing the development of many of the Indigenous engagement and development strategies (both Territory and National), including Indigenous employment, economic development, resource management and research.  Some of which have been recognised by a number of Territory and National Awards. Bo has a Diploma of Teaching, Diploma in Business, Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership and completed the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program in 2009. You can get in touch with Bo via [email protected] or 0401 115 813

Wayne is the Managing Director and owner of Piscari Industries Pty Ltd, a small commercial fishing company, that he began in 2010. Piscari Industries operates multiple vessels across four separate state and national fisheries. He remains actively engaged in the commercial fishing industry as a board member of two industry associations, Seafood Industries Victoria, and Southern Rock Lobster Ltd.

In 2014 Wayne was awarded an Australian Nuffield Scholarship which focussed on Innovation and Accountability in Commercial Fisheries. While undertaking his scholarship he travelled to over thirty countries researching different production practices and management structures across multiple food system sectors. Upon completing his scholarship Wayne took on a voluntary role with Nuffield International which saw him coordinating groups of farmers and small to medium agricultural enterprises to engage with UN policy processes at the UN Committee on Food Security and FAO symposium’s.

In 2022 Wayne led the negotiation team for the Private Sector Mechanism to the UN Committee on Food Security’s policy guidelines on Promoting Youth Engagement and Employment in Agriculture and Food Systems. In his role with Emerging ag Inc., Wayne works as part of the secretariat team for the International Agrifood Network and engages closely across multiple UN platforms including the CFS, FAO, and UNFCCC.

You can get in touch with Wayne via [email protected] or 0409 950 497

Craig has been a commercial fisher for 30 years, with the majority of his fishing being in the Victorian Western Zone Abalone Fishery and the Victorian Rock Lobster Fishery.

Craig is extensively involved in industry representation; Chairman of Abalone Council Victoria (ACV), Chairman of the Western Abalone Divers Association (WADA), a director of Abalone Council Australia (ACA), an industry representative on VFA’s Aquatic Strategic Action Group (ASAG) and is also involved with Women In Seafood Australasia.

With a passion for promoting local, sustainably caught seafood, Craig actively engages with restaurants and the public to shift perceptions and promote a sustainable future for Australian fisheries.

You can get in touch with Craig via [email protected] or 0418 588 967

John has been working in the commercial wild catch seafood industry since 1999. Through his role with the Fischer Group of Companies, he focused on expanding the group’s investment in the Snapper fisheries of the Northern Territory and participated in reviewing contemporary frameworks for sustainable development of the fishery. John has managed all aspects of operations supply chain, from building the boats to delivering products to customers and understands well the implications of regulations and policies on operations.

In 2019, John joined the board of the Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC). Together with the board and staff, he has been focused on modernising the organization in order to make the NTSC even more valuable to relevant stakeholders.

You can get in contact with John via [email protected] or 0409 803 588

Basil is a third generation Lobster fisherman from Fremantle, Western Australia with over 40 years of operational experience in the Western Rock Lobster industry. He has a high-degree of skill and expertise at an operational, managerial, commercial, and governance capacity.

Having a diversified background, with experience in general management, industry representation and business development across a range of industries (importing, exporting, wholesale and retail) in the private sector and an intimate knowledge of extracting value from the supply chain.

Basil currently holds position of Chair on the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative (GFC) Board as a member elected non-executive director and also is a Director on the Rural Financial Counselling Service of Western Australia.  

Past directorships include Independent Director of the WA Potato Corporation to help the transition through to deregulation and represented industry on numerous fisheries related state government advisory committees.

You can get in touch with Basil via [email protected] or 0427 197 668

Dean is the Managing Director of his own commercial fishing company (est. 1986) and has been a commercial diver and quota owner in the Tasmanian abalone fishery for four decades.

As a long-term advocate for the abalone industry, Dean has a broad knowledge of matters related to the Australian and global abalone industry and has developed an extensive network within Australia’s commercial abalone sector. Dean has over 30 years of experience managing and/or overseeing national and international abalone-related research and development projects. 

Dean is currently CEO of Abalone Council Australia Ltd, President of the Tasmanian Abalone Council and is a Non-Executive Director of Abalone Council of New South Wales Ltd.

He was appointed as a member of the ITQ Investment Fund Advisory Committee for Longreach Maris in October 2020.

Dean can be contacted via [email protected] or 0419 599 954

Neil is a Director of NMAC(SA) Pty Ltd which delivers a broad range of services to industry, particularly focused at a sector / fishery level for 15 years.  Prior to that Neil spent 10 years in several roles with the South Australian Fishing Industry Council, which was renamed as Wildcatch Fisheries SA.  Prior to that Neil was engaged in fisheries policy, management and administration with the South Australian fisheries agency.

Neil has been involved in delivering a diverse range of services and activities in support of the industry and industry groups at a State and Commonwealth level. 

Neil is a member of a range of State and Commonwealth co-management bodies, member of the FRDC SARAC and Chair and Director of the Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries (ACPF).

You can get in touch with Neil via [email protected] or 0409 559 995 

Natalie in conjunction with other Atlantis team members, has been actively involved in consultation between a number of oil and gas extractive projects in the South-East, and more recently Australia’s first Renewable Energy project (Star of the South) off Gippsland.

As a part of the Atlantis team, Natalie’s day-to-day job is to provide due diligence analysis and helps provide a quality service to facilitate the buying, selling and leasing of rights and associated business.

For the last 5 years Natalie has participated on behalf of the Australian seafood industry in a few high-level activities that impact our industry, namely The Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Current committees Natalie is involved in include: Shark-Plan Representative (SRG) Group, Southern Shark Industry Alliance (SSIA), and NT Offshore Net and Line Assessment Group (ONLAG).

You can get in touch with Natalie via [email protected] or 0404 778 220

Karen’s involvement in the Wild-catch sector spans 26 years, owning two fishing vessels, holding primary licenses and quotas. These vessels operate in the Gulf Net (N3) Estuary and Wild Barra Fishery in Karumba, as well as the Reef Line Fishery (L2, RQ, SM) from Cairns. In addition to owning and operating a Seafood Retail Store on the Atherton Tablelands.

As the proprietor of Malanda Seafood, Karen has garnered recognition winning State and National Seafood Industry Awards for Small Business in 2022, along with local Business Excellence Awards for Customer Service. These accolades underscore her unwavering commitment to exceptional service and quality.

Karen’s professional journey reflects a profound passion for the wild-caught seafood industry and a steadfast dedication to her community and the seafood sector, ensuring the continued availability of quality, wild-caught seafood in Australia. Her participation as Reef Guardian Fishers with GBRMPA demonstrates a commitment to sustainable fishing practices.

Recent involvement in the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program showcases Karen’s aspiration to expand her contributions to the industry. Additionally, she actively participates in the SeaSafe Steering Committee, SIA’s Wildcatch Advisory Committee and served as a mentor with Women in Seafood Australasia, providing guidance and inspiration to fellow women in the industry.

You can get in touch with Karen via [email protected] or 0427 964 449

Andrew is the Founder and Managing Director of Longreach Maris Pty Ltd, Director of Sustainable Seafood Op Co Pty Ltd and Director of QSFT Pty Ltd.

Longreach Maris Pty Ltd, Sustainable Seafood Op Co Pty Ltd and QSFT Pty Ltd are involved in most major Commonwealth and State wild-caught fisheries. 

Prior to founding Longreach Maris, Andrew was General Manager of CMG Tasmania – responsible for the buying, processing and export of 40% of Tasmania’s Rock Lobster industry.

Andrew is a Committee member of the Victoria Rock Lobster Committee and Member and active participant of the TRFLA, TACL, SASIA, ASBTIA, SETFIA, Tuna Australia, South Australian Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishermen’s Association

You can get in touch with Andrew via [email protected] or 0418 877 882

The WAC’s mission is to support SIA to realise the vision for the Australian wildcatch by:

• Raising the profile of the industry in respect to sustainable fisheries practices, the quality of Australian wildcatch fisheries and their value to the community and the economy.
• Addressing industry challenges and opportunities.
• Advocating, collaborating, educating and communicating to achieve positive industry outcomes.

The WAC decided on a series of key priorities to assist in directing activity:

  1. Industry communication and stakeholder engagement – Build knowledge of the industry and its value across key stakeholders.
  2. Resource Access – Ensure equitable resource access by addressing spatial squeeze issues.
  3. Property Rights – Strengthen Property Rights
  4. Government policy and regulation – Advocate for effective and coordinated regulatory and management arrangements.
  5. Ecosystem sustainability, biosecurity and animal welfare – Promote and support sustainable fisheries management, decarbonisation, biosecurity and animal welfare.
  6. Workforce development and support – Workforce development, health and wellbeing of the seafood community.
  7. First Nations engagement – Support the involvement of First Nations enterprises and people in the industry.
  8. Product integrity, demand and value creation – Increase product value by validating provenance and building demand.
  9. Business resilience and profitability – Advocate for and support initiatives that build business resilience and profitability.

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