Back to FISH Vol 29 4
PUBLISHED 30 Nov 2021

Noel Reginald Herbst (20/10/1941–5/11/2021) was a founding father of the Australian prawn farming industry and a great man. His service to the Australian prawn farming industry and his local community was recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2014.

Noel HerbstIn 1986, Noel founded Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture, which is one of Australia’s largest Black Tiger Prawn farming companies. Originally, he farmed cattle and cane on land that had been in his family for more than a century. But his pioneering spirit and willingness to take risks saw him turn his northern Gold Coast property into a highly successful prawn farm, where he grew prawns with a focus on quality rather than quantity.

Long-time friend Nick Moore said that while the aquaculture and seafood industry has been full of larger-than-life figures, few could claim the same influence that Noel has. “He had amazing vision and was a very generous man with his knowledge.”

Noel was a strong believer in the industry working together and he was instrumental in establishing the Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA) in 1993 for the benefit of its members. He always supported his key personnel to participate on the executive management committee and various other APFA sub-committees to support the industry and members.

He opened his mind, his heart and his farm to all those who wanted to learn or know anything about prawn farming. And he never gave up when faced with adversity, including the white spot incursion.

A true pioneer of Australian prawn farmers and, over the past 35 years, Noel significantly contributed to innovative farming techniques, sustainable practices, research to reduce pressure on wild- caught stocks and the education of key policymakers (including ministers) for the benefit of the industry and Australia’s economy.

He was held in high esteem and respected by fellow farmers, key officials and stakeholders, his local community and the broader aquaculture sector.

Noel is survived by his children Debbie and Darrell.