Introducing The Fish Names Committee for the Australian Fish Names Standard AS 5300
Gus Dannoun (Independent Chair) is the Executive Manager – Seafood Trading at Sydney Fish Market (SFM) Pty Ltd, a role he has held since September 2016. During his time at the market, which commenced in December 1981 with the NSW Fish Marketing Authority (a government trading enterprise privatised in October 1994), Gus has held a number of senior positions including that of IT Manager, Assistant to the General Manager and Supply Manager. In his 40 years in the seafood industry, Gus’s network of contacts and associations extends from catching and production sectors to post-harvest in Australia and New Zealand, industry associations, government and training bodies. Gus commenced his association with Fish Names in the mid-1990’s, initially attending meetings as an observer, followed by his appointment as Seafood Industry Peak Body appointee until July 2014 when he was appointed as Independent Chair. Although having a background in Information Technology, Gus’s principal role with SFM today is to source and co-ordinate the supply of seafood to the market as well as being the primary point of contact for all suppliers (domestic and international) managing operations (namely SFM’s auction) and the company’s fishing quota portfolio. Before turning his hand to the seafood trading activities of SFM, Gus was closely involved in the successful introduction of the Dutch auction clock system in 1989. His work on this project covered every facet from research through to design and development. In 2000, he was involved in the introduction of SFMlive, an internet-based business-to-business solution for the seafood industry. Gus quips about his change in career paths from IT to Seafood as “moving from chips to fish”!! Outside of SFM and his role with FNC, Gus is the Chair of the NSW Fishing Industry Council and was until recently Treasurer for South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA).
Mark Boulter (Deputy Chair and Food and Beverage Importers Association appointee) has been involved in fisheries since the 1980's, starting his career as a deckhand on small inshore trawlers in the UK. He has a fisheries science degree from Plymouth University (UK) and post-university worked for the Seafish Industry Authority in the UK on food safety and quality projects. After emigrating to Australia in 2001 he worked in Seafood QA roles for the Sydney Fish Market for many years. In recent years, Mark has been involved nationally and internationally with the global seafood trading sector, at the interface between trade and QA/importation compliance matters. He is the recent past president of the International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI), having chaired the 2019 Penang World Seafood Congress. Mark currently works for the FBIA (Food and Beverage Importers Association) and also for Bidfood Australia in seafood technical roles. He represents the imported seafood sector on the Fish Names Committee.
Toby Abbott (Expert Member – Seafood Processors) is the CEO of Westmore Seafoods, based in Western Australia. He has been involved in the West Australian seafood industry for more than 25 years, with roles in many aspects of the industry including retailing, wholesaling, processing and vessel operations. Toby has a strong all-round seafood knowledge and exposure to many markets both domestically and internationally. He has been involved in processing for foodservice markets, and more recently for national retail customers, including management and procurement for both behind the counter sales and shelf ready products. Toby’s current role oversees vessel operations in WA and the Northern Territory, along with processing facilities in Fremantle and Shark Bay. He has also been the Chairman of the Shark Bay Prawn Trawl Operators Association since 2019.
Dr Shane Ahyong (Invertebrate Taxonomy appointee) has been fascinated by marine life since he was a child and has some 30 years’ experience in the taxonomy of aquatic invertebrates, especially crustaceans, of which crabs, lobsters and mantis shrimp are his favourites. He is currently a Principal Research Scientist and Head of Marine Invertebrates at the Australian Museum, Sydney, and Professor (Adjunct), School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales. He completed his Ph.D. in 2000 at the University of New South Wales, followed by an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Australian Museum. In 2006, Shane joined the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand, managing the Marine Invasives Taxonomic Service and Marine Biodiversity and Biosecurity Group, with a research focus on deep-water fishery species. In 2010, Shane took on his current role at the Australian Museum where maintains strong local and international collaborations. He has published more than 300 papers, book chapters and books, mostly on taxonomy and phylogenetics of marine and freshwater invertebrates, and especially crabs, lobsters and shrimp in recent years. Shane joined the FNC as a taxonomic expert and as a facilitator for CAAB (Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota) management, where he helps the committee navigate the use of scientific and common names in accord with the most recent scientific knowledge. He also serves on two international bodies dealing with global species name standards: the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) and the Steering Committee of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS).
Hamish Allen (Expert Member – Major Supermarkets) has worked in retail his entire working life. He started at Franklins in Nowra in the mid 1990’s as a night-fill worker, before being absorbed into the Woolworths group in the early 2000’s. He progressed into a produce management role and subsequently moved into a produce buying position at the Head Office. After spending a few years buying produce, he pursued a career in a commercial role buying seafood and has over 15 years in seafood buying and merchandising. The role Hamish now takes on within the seafood department at Woolworths is vast and ranges from staff training, product purchasing, merchandising development and space allocation. Hamish is now seen as a senior member of the seafood team and has a passion for all things seafood. He is committed to increasing seafood consumption in Australia and raising both the quality and customer experience of seafood. Hamish has a Bachelor of Commerce from Wollongong University. He has been a member of the Australian Fish Names Committee since 2012 in the role of Expert Member – Major Supermarkets. He continues to provide insights and guidance relating to the supermarket retail environment.
Glenn Austin (Expert Member – Hospitality) has 35 years of skills in the making; he is a leader, the first Australian to sit on the World Board of Chefs, and a life member of world chefs. He is unique, creative and pragmatic, and has a string of international awards. As business development chef to five hotel brands and three global food companies, Glenn is recognised around the world as an important and influential service to the food industry. He twice won the “most relevant person” to then Yum corporation, one of the world’s largest restaurant groups. He has managed three culinary Olympic teams and has personally represented Australia internationally in multiple positions for three decades. Glenn has been interviewed by Australian financial icons for his success in positioning Australian companies internationally, and he has brilliantly combined high-level cooking skills and global business development. Glenn has worked in all forms of media with early television appearances and more recently a weekly radio spot, a columnist and author. Glenn regularly contributed to trade publications and holds the title of “most popular writer” for Australia’s largest leading Industry publication for 15 years. A dedicated following by the food industry internationally still makes Glenn a sought-after consultant. His role on the FNC utilises all his experience to help guide the committee through the maze of seafood issues that arise, and better equip them to service the hospitality sector.
Kate Birch (Expert Member – Seafood Marketing) has extensive experience across international and national seafood markets, specialising in new product and market development, export and sales. Over the past 20 years, Kate has passionately dedicated her working life to the growth and sustainability of the South Australian food industry, which also included a stint in London at the Office of the Agent General for the Government of South Australia as the Food and Wine Export Manager. As General Manager for the Ferguson Australia Group, Kate is responsible for operations from harvest through to the sales, marketing and distribution of Australian seafood to wholesalers, retailers, and food service and end consumers. Ferguson Australia Group has three seafood focussed brands. Historically focussed on export markets, Ferguson Australia launched a domestic frozen retail ready fish pack range, which has seen the range grow from 7 to 16 SKUs in a little over 24 months. Kate has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Adelaide and a Diploma of Market Research. Kate has also represented the industry across various South Australian food and beverage bodies, and held positions on South Australian Government advisory committees, including the South Australian Seafood Advisory Forum and Rock Lobster Fishery Management Advisory Committee.
Russell Conway (Recreational Fishing appointee) has been a keen and passionate recreational fisher for more than 40 years. He enjoys fishing our quiet country streams and lakes chasing trout and native species just as much as the thrill of fishing for pelagic species around our magnificent coastline. Russell is the President the Metropolitan Anglers Association, Chairman of RecFish Australia, past Chairman of VRFish and a life member of the Greensborough & District Angling Club. In addition to being a member of the Fish Names Committee, Russell provides recreational fishing industry expertise to the Board of the Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC), and is a member of the FRDC Recfishing Research Committee. Russell’s various roles have provided him with a good understanding of the diverse issues challenging recreational fishers and the importance of effective representation and advocacy to ensure we can all continue to enjoy fishing in the future.
Michael Kitchener (Independent Fish Retailers appointee) is the Executive Officer for the Master Fish Merchants Association of Australia and has over 20 years’ experience dealing with a wide variety of issues affecting seafood retail businesses. He has also been a Director on the NSW Seafood Industry Council since 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Macquarie University, and Graduate Diploma in Fisheries Management, and MBA in Marine Resource Management from the Australian Maritime College. He is also a graduate of the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program. Michael has been appointed to the Fish Names Committee to represent independent fish retailers, and has links to the committee dating back to 2001 when he attended his first meeting.
Lisa McKenzie (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) appointee) currently works for the Dairy, Egg, Fish Export Program within the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as an Assistant Director and the recently appointed Seafood Export Facilitator, providing assistance to the seafood industry – helping with documentation and registration, getting new exporters on the front foot when exporting their goods, and showing existing exporters how to expand and diversify their markets. Lisa has been a member of the Fish Names Committee since 2016 and an active participant in the seafood industry since the late 1980’s when she ran away to sea after completing a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art). The majority of Lisa’s working career has been seafood related and ranges from deck work, on-board quality assurance, export processing, vessel ownership to delivering seafood HACCP training and working with industry in positions in both the state and commonwealth governments. Lisa holds a variety of qualifications in the field, including food auditing, seafood processing and Frontline Management, has travelled extensively and cannot go past a fish market without investigating. Lisa provides the Committee with current, practical advice in relation to the fish names applied to fish and fish products for export from Australia, which export legislation requires to comply with the requirements of the Australian Fish Names Standard.
John Pogonoski (Fish Taxonomy and CAAB appointee) is an Ichthyologist at the CSIRO Australian National Fish Collection in Hobart, a team he joined in 2006. He has an Environmental Science Degree and 30 years' experience working in collections, research and taxonomic pursuits, including stints at the Australian Museum in Sydney (1994-2004) and NSW Department of Primary Industries in Cronulla (2005-2006). John has a broad understanding of Indo-Pacific fishes and has helped describe more than 30 new fish species with Australian and international collaborators. He has participated in numerous voyages onboard the Research Vessel Investigator and is familiar with the inshore and deep-sea fish fauna of temperate and tropical environments. John manages the fish taxonomy component of the CAAB Database and is passionate about improving the quality of data available on Australia's fish species.
Dr Sonia Talman (Fisheries Agencies appointee) is a Principal Policy Analyst at the Victorian Fisheries Authority, working in fisheries policy and management since 2005. Prior to that, Sonia worked at the Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute as Subprogram Leader for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, managing the Integrated Scientific Monitoring Program (ISMP), which provided observer services and port-based measuring from Queensland through to South Australia. Sonia completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours at Monash University and a PhD at the University of Melbourne. She then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship on scallop fisheries at the New Zealand Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. Sonia has also worked at the Museum of Victoria and for the US Forest and Wildlife Service in Alaska. Sonia joined the Fish Names Committee in 2020 as the delegate for the Australian Fisheries Management Forum (AFMF), co-ordinating input from fisheries agencies across Australia on behalf of the AFMF Chair.
Gordon Yearsley (FNC Project Manager) (known widely as ‘Gus’) has worked in the field of fish systematics and seafood names since the late 1980’s. He has a Science Degree with a double major in Zoology and Botany, and an Honours Degree in the systematics of Australian stingarees. He studied at the University of Tasmania and then worked as a fish taxonomist at CSIRO in Hobart for about 20 years. He was also seconded for a time to the DPI in Queensland. Gus has authored and co-authored dozens of scientific papers, books and reports, and has given scientific names to more than fifteen Australian and South-East Asian fishes. These have included species of stingrays, sharks, oreodories and scorpionfishes. Three of the books as senior editor/author are the Australian Seafood Handbooks (domestic and imported species volumes) and the second edition of the Australian Seafood Users Manual. Knowledge gained during the preparation of these various publications is now applied by Gus in his small scientific editing business. Gus has been involved with the Fish Names Committee and its precursors since the late 1980’s and has extensive knowledge and experience regarding the process of establishing and managing a names standard under the auspices of Standards Australia. After providing technical advice to the committee as a representative of CSIRO for many years, he was appointed to the committee as an Expert Member. In 2023, Gus resigned his Committee position to become Project Manager. Gus is also chairman and/or board member of a number of charities and not-for-profits.