Heidi Walker – Walker Seafoods Australia – Sustainable Stories
Sustainable Stories No 10. Heidi Walker – Walker Seafoods Australia.
At Fish & Co we are dedicated to sustainability not only for seafood but also in business. We thought it would be interesting to share a little background on our sustainable partners so you could get to know a little more about the people and their businesses that makes it all possible for us to deliver our delicious sustainable experience here at Fish & Co.
We would love to hear what you think or on ways we can improve on connecting sustainable stories?
Your Name Heidi Walker
Where do you live?
Mooloolaba QLD on the beautiful Sunshine Coast
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Pavo and I have been in the fishing industry for over 14 years. We are both from Sydney and had corporate jobs before Pavo bought an old wooden fishing boat and decided to become a tuna fisherman. After 12 years at sea Pavo became shore based to manage and run our growing business. I gave up my job with Treasury Wine Estates to help run the business which was no longer considered small.
Tell us about your business:
Walker Seafoods Australia is a Queensland based tuna company that operates on the entire east coast of Australia. Our main port for processing and packaging is Mooloolaba. We are primarily known for producing high quality, sustainable, export grade product.
We own four vessels and employ six skippers and thirty three crew. We also have a shore based management team including a Fishing Master.
Our fishery is the Eastern Tuna Billfish Fishery (ETBF). The ETBF is a Commonwealth Fishery which is managed by The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). AFMA is responsible for the efficient management and sustainable use of Australia’s Commonwealth fisheries resources.
Walker Seafoods Australia has owned vessels fishing in the ETBF since 2002. We have steadily grown into the biggest company in the ETBF with the highest catch rates and quota holdings. We believe that the main reason for our success is our focus on quality that is demanded by our Japanese, American, European and Australian clients and consumers.
In 2015 we were granted MSC certification for Yellowfin, Swordfish and Albacore, the first in Australia and the only sashimi grade MSC Yellowfin available in the world.
What are your longer term goals for the business?
To grow our sales within the Australian market and encourage consumers to choose local sustainable fish.
Who are your customers?
Restaurants such as Rockpool, Stokehouse, Fish & Co in Australia. Supermarkets in the USA and Switzerland. Restaurants in Miami, New York and Los Angeles. And a large percentage of our fish are sent to Japan of course.
What does ʻsustainabilityʼ mean to your business?
Ensuring the long term viability of our fishery. We work closely with AFMA observers, as well as CSIRO and Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) scientists. Our vessels and operators have been credited for assisting tagging studies for both Tuna and Swordfish and we pride ourselves on being the first choice by CSIRO for all scientific studies and projects.
What is your businesses biggest achievement?
Achieving MSC certification, it has taken years and years of work and we are so proud to be certified.
If you could chose, what would be your last meal and with who (dead or alive)?
Sushi from the Tokyo fish markets (at 4am) with Pavo.
Your Website: www.walkerseafoods.com.au