In brief

SIA appoints new CEO

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) has appointed Veronica Papacosta as its new CEO, taking over the role from Jane Lovell who resigned in April 2020.

Veronica Papacosta has been acting in this role since early April. She was formally appointed as the new CEO in August following an extensive, independent recruitment process.
Acting chair of SIA, Chauncey Hammond, says the board of directors looks forward to seeing her expertise take SIA to a new level over the next few years.

As chair of SIA and then as interim CEO, Veronica Papacosta has already led important initiatives for the industry, such as the $4 million federal grant for the Eat Seafood, Australia! marketing campaign and the national mental health pilot program. She has also coordinated a state peak body roundtable, increased membership and strategic partnerships, and conducted extensive government engagement.

As a third-generation seafood retailer, Veronica Papacosta is a longstanding participant in the Australian seafood industry.

“I will continue SIA’s good work to promote, protect and develop the interests of the Australian seafood industry. I will continue to improve communications and collaborations within the industry, and also with governments and regulators, along with other sectors and industries. The long-term sustainability and success of SIA and SIA members is my primary goal.”


Historic new company to drive RDC collaboration

The FRDC will join with all 15 other Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) to establish a new company, Agricultural Innovation Australia Limited. Its establishment follows a number of government-commissioned reviews that have highlighted barriers to innovation within primary industries, particularly in relation to cross-sectoral issues and opportunities.

The company will promote research into and development of Australia’s national agricultural resources. It will increase the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the agricultural value chain, including fisheries and forestry, by:

  • identifying nationally significant cross-sectoral opportunities;
  • developing strategies that facilitate a collaborative approach to investing in research and development, and the adoption of new knowledge and innovation required to realise those opportunities; and
  • raising and acquiring funding and resources from its RDC members, government and third parties, and managing that funding and those resources to implement company strategies.

Establishing this company furthers the goal of the primary industries sector to make Australia number one globally for innovation in rural agriculture, fisheries and forestry and achieving the National Farmers’ Federation’s target of $100 billion of annual production by 2030. 

More information

Patrick Hone, patrick.hone@frdc.com.au


Shared objectives with First Peoples

Building on the work of its Indigenous Reference Group, the FRDC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC).

This will allow the two organisations to further their relationship and allows for the sharing of information and regular consultation on relevant projects. It is expected to help prevent duplication of projects and to enhance opportunities for the two organisations to work together to support opportunities in fishing and aquaculture for Australia’s First Peoples.

The aim of the ILSC is to assist Indigenous Australians to acquire and manage country to achieve economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits.


Tuna fishery MSC certified

The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) has achieved Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainability certification.

The ETBF extends from Cape York to the waters around Tasmania. This area includes several national marine parks, such as Lord Howe Marine Park and the one million square kilometre Coral Sea Marine Park.

“The certification recognises fishing in marine parks can be done sustainably while enabling Tuna Australia members to access new markets and premium prices. Consumers can be assured the fish they’re eating is from a sustainable source,” says David Ellis, CEO of Tuna Australia.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley says certification highlights the interdependence of Australia’s world-class fisheries management and healthy and resilient marine ecosystems.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonathon Duniam congratulated Tuna Australia, saying the achievement reinforces Australia’s reputation for producing safe, high-quality and environmentally sustainable seafood.

Anne Gabriel, MSC program director for Oceania and Singapore, says the independent assessment process demonstrated that the ETBF is meeting world’s best practice for sustainable fishing. She says 46 per cent of Australia’s marine wild catch by volume is now certified to the MSC’s Fisheries Standard, reflecting strong leadership by Australian fisheries in reducing impacts on the environment.

Tuna Australia received a $506,000 grant from the Australian Government’s Our Marine Parks Grants program to fund the independent assessment of the fishery for certification.