26th July 2019
The innovation and dedication of Geraldton’s Indian Ocean Fresh Australia (IOFA) was last night recognised when they were awarded the People Development Award and IOFA Production Manager, Justine Arnold, the Young Achievers Award at the prestigious 2019 Western Australian Seafood Industry Awards.
The Geraldton based marine finfish aquaculture company farms Yellowtail Kingfish in the waters of Champion Bay, off the coast of Geraldton, delivering and marketing to domestic and international customers.
The People Development Award recognised a business that has demonstrated excellence in developing and undertaking activities which have contributed to a higher performing workforce for the seafood industry.
IOFA Director and owner Erica Starling was thrilled with the result stating that one of the ongoing and challenging issues facing the emerging and rapidly developing aquaculture industry, especially in a regional area, was skilled staff.
“At IOFA we are committed to identifying and creating opportunities to upskilling not only our team, but also students, graduates and also other industry members, to help address skill gaps facing the seafood industry, and in particular the aquaculture sector in WA,” Ms Starling said.
“Aquaculture work is very varied in nature and we believe that ongoing collaboration fosters knowledge and development at personal and industry level.
“We aim to offer unique and inspiring training opportunities locally and also through travel interstate and internationally to enable specialised training, mentoring, development and research which results in more people with higher skills.”
Ms Starling also acknowledged the outstanding achievements of employee Justine Arnold, who was recognised with the Young Achievers Award for the positive difference she has made to the seafood industry and her potential to continue to develop as a seafood industry leader.
“Justine is a hands-on manager in our business who works hard and maximises every opportunity presented to her,” said Ms Starling.
“Justine is from a local Midwest fishing family and has been involved in the seafood industry her entire life. She returned to the region to work with IOFA following completion of her Bachelor of Marine Science with Honours.
“Justine has thrived on developing herself professionally and personally and is an excellent role model as she generously shares her knowledge and skills with others.
“Her commitment to learn is evident through her involvement in many programs such as NRWC e-learning Leadership Program, RRR Network Leadership Masterclass, WA Premier’s Agriculture and Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Program Scholarship and involvement with Women in Seafood Australasia (WISA).
Ms Starling said the future of the seafood industry is very bright with up and coming leaders of Justine’s calibre who are making such an innovative and positive impact.
- Indian Ocean Fresh Australia (IOFA) is a Geraldton business operating an ocean-based finfish farm in the waters of Champion Bay, Geraldton, Western Australia
- IOFA supplies premium Yellowtail Kingfish to the domestic Australian seafood market and international export markets
- Owned and operated by Erica Starling, IOFA have been marine finfish farming in Geraldton since 2008, firstly with Mulloway and now with Yellowtail Kingfish