Awards show sustainable seafood is achievable
Winners of the 2023 awards were announced at Parliament in Wellington on 6 June.
Fishers, marine farmers, kaitiaki/tiaki, and researchers from around the country were among the award recipients.
Operational Innovator Award Winner: Dom Talijancich
Nelson fisherman and businessman Dom Talijancich believes strongly in innovation and technology and has just about every sensor possible installed on his fishing boat. To enable more selective fishing, he established his company Advanced Conservation Solutions (ACS), and developed 'DeepSet' – a camera with machine learning algorithms that identifies fish species entering a trawl net in real time. After months of research, development, and trialling, ACS now has a system that is delivering exciting results.
Market Innovator Award Winner: Premium Seas Limited
Premium Seas is a champion of New Zealand seaweeds and premium seaweed products. Harvesting Undaria pinnatifida from local Coromandel waters, it has developed innovative solutions to process seaweed for food. Premium Seas is passionate about the environmental, economic, and social benefits to be realised from the emerging seaweed farming sector.
Using expertise from Japan and a highly engaged network of chefs, it has collaborated with local butchers to produce an award-winning pork and wakame sausage, and also with Coromandel Pies, who now produce a premium mussel and wakame pie.
Future Leader Award Winner: Sarah Bynevelt
Site manager, Sarah Bynevelt, has transformed the remote Bluff Sanford fish processing facility from a traditionally effective unit to a high-performing hub of innovative practices that are often implemented company-wide. She's been hugely focused on reducing plastic, using every part of every fish so nothing goes to waste, and inspiring her team and community to make sustainability a priority. Sarah led Sanford's salmon division to recycle or repurpose over 1,300 tonnes of waste materials in 2022. That's 82.8% of waste diverted away from landfill.
Ocean Guardian Award Winner: Scott and Sue Tindale, Tindale Marine Research Charitable Trust
Scott and Sue Tindale from the Tindale Marine Research Charitable Trust have spent a lifetime encouraging the public to take notice of their impact on the ocean environment. They have developed methods to reduce fish and seabird mortality by raising public awareness of the detritus polluting our marine environment and washing up on our beaches. They have developed a fish tagging program that targets inshore fisheries. Already this program has well over 1,000 participants and provides valuable information for monitoring fish stocks.
Tangata Kaitiaki/Tiaki Award Winner: Mai-Paritu-tae-atu-ki-Turakirae Fisheries Forum
The Mai-Paritu-tae-atu-ki-Turakirae Fisheries Forum is a voluntary collective of Māori tāngata kaitiaki, mana whenua and mana moana geographically spread along the east coast of the North Island, from Tūranga in the north to Wairarapa in the south. It has developed Ngā-Huruhuru-Waitai-o-Tangaroa, a 2 to 3 year intervention plan of wānanga, training, relationship building, and practical work to enable sustainable fish stocks in the customary, recreational, and commercial sectors, as well as the improved wellbeing of the communities involved.
Supreme Sustainability Award Winners: Scott and Sue Tindale, Tindale Marine Research Charitable Trust
The judging panel selected Scott and Sue Tindale from Tindale Marine Research Charitable Trust for their ongoing contribution to educating the public and raising awareness about the sustainability of our oceans and fisheries. They are well known across the recreational fishing sector. Not only are they very successful and internationally renowned anglers themselves but they have worked tirelessly to increase public participation and interest in the health of our oceans.
Through their charitable research trust, they have developed a successful fish tagging program which has tagged thousands of fish and provided valuable information used for monitoring fish stocks. Fisheries New Zealand supports this programme and is looking for ways to incorporate this data into its fisheries management system.
Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Award Winner: Pāua Industry Council (Jeremy Cooper and Storm Stanley)
For over 40 years, the Pāua Industry Council has made substantial and meaningful contributions to the pāua industry that has seen the fishery flourish in the face of some enormous challenges.
Implementing electronic monitoring and data logging well before legislated requirements, reseeding of pāua following the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, and translocation projects to assess the benefits of moving slow growing pāua to areas known for being productive – are a few examples of their achievements.
They are champions of fisheries plans that have been used to create sound management of pāua resources. Importantly, these are collaborative and seek buy-in from industry and the broader community.