Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Gail Gago said the conference and associated events being held in Port Lincoln until Wednesday 30 October, would celebrate the qualities which make South Australia’s premium seafood so highly regarded.
“South Australia’s clean waters are home to some of the world’s most sought-after seafood including rock lobster, tuna, abalone, oysters and prawns,” Ms Gago said.
“When total and indirect outputs are calculated, South Australia’s commercial fisheries contribute more than A$690 million to the State’s economy.
“Our seafood industry is therefore crucial to many of our State’s coastal regions, particularly in Port Lincoln which produces over 60 per cent of South Australia’s seafood.
“Port Lincoln and South Australia hosting the premier national fishing industry conference that will be setting the future direction for the seafood industry really recognises just how well regarded the region is as a premium seafood producer from a clean aquatic environment.”
The celebrations commence along Port Lincoln Marina on Sunday (October 27) with the Family and Fishers Trade Show Day including a cook-off, public industry panel discussion, dragon boat races and seafood industry and fisheries management displays.
Minister Gago said the cook-off featuring Hong Kong-based South Australian Premium Food and Wine Ambassador Mr Wong Wing Chee and Port Lincoln-based food identity Sandy Harder provides an opportunity to celebrate South Australia’s Premium Seafood from our Clean Environment.
Ms Harder will also take part later in the day in a panel discussion that continues the celebrations and explore the conference themes of Adapt, Interact and See Food.
Hosted by wine identity and South Australian Premium Food and Wine Ambassador Paul Henry, the panel discussion will also feature fellow Ambassadors Andrew Puglisi (Kinkawooka Mussels) and Hagen Stehr (CleanSeas).
The panellists will discuss how the Eyre Peninsula fishing industry contributes to the State Government’s Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment strategic priority and how collaboration between Government and the industry can be strengthened in the long term.
Tastings of local produce will be offered throughout the panel session.
Minister Gago said the event, which follows on from previous celebrations in the Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Coonawarra, will provide an avenue to further explore and discuss opportunities for the Eyre Peninsula seafood industry.
A who’s who of the industry will then gather at the Port Lincoln Nautilus Theatre on Sunday night for the Seventh National Seafood Industry Gala Dinner and industry awards.
Minister Gago said the awards being presented recognise the individuals, partnerships, businesses and organisations that have made positive contributions towards a sustainable and profitable Australian seafood industry.
“As we highlight and celebrate the achievements of some of our great seafood success stories, on behalf of the South Australian Government I would like to thank and congratulate everyone in the sector for making our Australian and South Australian seafood the envy of seafood producers across the globe,” she said.
Mr Wong Wing Chee will also demonstrate his cooking skills with South Australian seafood, producing canapés at the commencement of the Gala Dinner, and before his departure from Port Lincoln will also visit some of the local seafood industry facilities.
For more information on the Seafood Directions 2013 Family and Fishers Trade Day and Conference visit www.seafooddirections.net.au.