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Austral Fisheries

There’s an encouraging trend toward sustainable seafood these days. But one fishing company has made a commitment to go even further to protect the environment…

Luxury Sustainable Seafood

Austral Fisheries is a Perth, Australia-based commercial fishing company specializing in pioneering sustainable practices. A fleet of 10 trawlers work in and around the picturesque gulf of Carpentaria catching prawns for the “Skull Island” brand, and their three longliners are outfitted for catching their “Glacier 51” toothfish in the sub-Antarctic. They’re one of Australia’s largest fisheries, exporting internationally, with their products featured on the menu of restaurants such as Nobu 57 in New York and At.Mosphere Burj Khalifa Dubai.

Tackling Climate Change

Climate change directly impacts the fishing industry. Rising ocean temperatures have displaced species from their traditional home regions, and rising ocean water acidity, a result of oceanic CO2 absorption, has begun to impact plankton and other microorganisms, the foundation of the food chain. As the climate has changed, population food needs have grown (Over 3 billion people now count on fish as essential nutrition). Austral fisheries is one of a growing number of fisheries that have become certified as fully sustainable operations, but they also decided to go a step further.

Beyond Sustainability

In 2016, Austral Fisheries decided to become industry leaders by taking a step that no other fishing company had yet made – reducing their carbon footprint by 100%. The entire operation was to become carbon-neutral. A thorough analysis revealed that the business was responsible for creating 32,619 tons of CO2. There were some steps that could be taken to reduce this, but that wouldn’t be enough reach to 100% neutrality. Austral didn’t just want to offset their emissions. They wanted to scrub them from the atmosphere entirely. In order to do this, they partnered with “Carbon Neutral” and their project, the “Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor” in order to plant 200,000 native trees. Austral became the first fishing company in the world to be certified carbon neutral by the Australian Government Carbon Neutral Program.

The payoff

Taking such progressive steps doesn’t come without a cost, and for a large and growing corporation, that cost poses a risk. But the risk has paid off. After launching their sustainably branded products, Austral’s revenue grew by 101% and their work was recognized with a slew of environmental awards. There’s still more work to be done though, and Austral is ready for it. It’s all part of living up to their motto: “We fish in the most remote and pristine places on earth… And leave them that way.”