The world’s population is 7 billion people and growing. Collectively, we must find ways to feed those people and supply healthy, nutritious sources of protein to our customers.
Wild caught fish are a naturally regenerating resource of high-quality protein. If we allow them to reproduce and grow in a clean marine environment and protect the ecosystems they live in, then we can continue to catch fish forever. That’s the future of our business and we have a strong vested interest in ensuring our own survival, by caring for the health of our oceans and the marine species that inhabit them.
Our commitment to sustainability is based on science and realised through decisive actions, not just words.
Austral was the first, and is currently the only commercial fishing company in the world to be certified as Carbon Neutral. This means we plant native trees in Australia to offset all our carbon emissions, and this is independently verified and certified by the Australian Government.
Being carbon neutral not only makes our staff incredibly proud to work for Austral, it also helps differentiate and enhance the value of our branded products whilst contributing towards tackling the challenges of global climate change. Carbon neutrality is sustainable, and its good business. It’s good for our people, our products and our planet.
Austral continues to collaborate with a range of stakeholders in the fishing industry, including global fishing industry coalitions, inter-governmental agencies and eNGOs on a range of topics, including best practice fisheries management, science to support fisheries management, and contemporary environmental and compliance issues.
We’ve invested heavily in new fishing gear that substantially reduces by-catch (untargeted species unintentionally caught during fishing) thus reducing our impact on a wide range of threatened marine species and seabirds. Healthy marine ecosystems rely on a delicate balance of species inter-dependence. We are committed to keeping this balance in check.
With our eyes to the future of sustainable seafood, we have recently invested over $50 million to develop and build a new, world-class fishing vessel for our Southern Ocean fleet: FV Cape Arkona.
Cape Arkona will be the most advanced, efficient and versatile fishing vessel of its type in the world. It also employs world-first hybrid-electric technology. She joined our Southern Ocean fleet in 2020 and will replace one of our older and less efficient vessels. Cape Arkona will be configured to operate long-lines, trawling and potting, and this unique configuration makes the vessel incredibly versatile.
Innovative new engine and gearbox design will substantially reduce fuel consumption, making it possible for the Cape Arkona to stay at sea longer, travel further and require fewer trips to port for refuelling. This helps to substantially reduce our carbon emissions and our operating costs. The Cape Arkona is a new generation of fishing vessel, built to embody the core values of our business and our focus on sustainability.