Austral Fisheries’ Northern Finfish Expansion Project Awarded $9.6m Grant  

Austral Fisheries’ Northern Finfish Expansion Project Awarded $9.6m Grant  
April 12, 2022

Northern Finfish FV Eubalaena Fishing Vessel Sunset


Austral Fisheries’ Northern Finfish Expansion Project Awarded $9.6m Grant  

Austral Fisheries is today humbled to learn of its successful application for a $9.6m grant through the Northern Australia Development Program – Industry Transformation Stream (NAIT).

The grant funding will support Austral’s planned $65m investment in the Northern Territory to expand its Northern Finfish operation. The expansion is projected to create 60 long-term career opportunities for crew and shore staff based in Darwin, with further positive economic and community outcomes for local businesses, crew and their families in the Northern Territory. 

​​Austral Fisheries is one of Australia’s largest vertically integrated commercial fishing companies, with operations ranging from Patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean, to prawns and tropical snapper species in the Northern Prawn and Timor Reef Fisheries. Austral began its operations in the Northern Territory in 2017 with the purchase of a trap-fishing vessel in the Northern Offshore Snapper Fishery. 

“The announcement today represents a terrific opportunity for both Austral Fisheries and the economy of the Northern Territory. We are grateful to the Australian Government and Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade for their support of Austral’s vision to expand our Northern Finfish operations. We are mindful that payment of these monies is contingent on the business meeting a series of investment milestones spanning 3 years. Our own investment, and now that of the Australian Government, is a powerful vote of confidence in the fisheries resources of Northern Australia and we are excited by what the future offers,” Austral CEO David Carter said.  

Part of the expansion will see Austral Fisheries add five fishing vessels to its current fleet in the Northern Offshore Snapper Fishery, delivering an estimated $12m per annum into the local Darwin economy.

The grant also provides Austral with the opportunity to design and build modern, purpose-built vessels which employ state-of-the-art technology to significantly reduce their carbon footprint compared with traditional vessels.

Austral Fisheries has long been a leader in sustainable fishing and in 2016, it became the first fishing company in the world to be certified as carbon neutral under the Australian Government’s ‘Climate Active’ Carbon Neutral Program.

Austral Fisheries acknowledges the Australian Government for its commitment to expanding Northern Australia through this and other grants. This investment will create meaningful economic outcomes and long-term job opportunities in the Northern Territory’s fishing industry.

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For more information, contact:
David Carter, CEO Austral Fisheries