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A long line of industry leaders who have been the backbone of the seafood industry over decades were due to have recognised at the Seafood Industry conference in Nelson (that was due to take place today) – and a rising star has taken the Young Achievers Award.

Seven people received Longstanding Service recognition.

Denver McGregor has worked for New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) for 30 years, and during this time, ensured NZKS and its products and processes were at the forefront of innovation and technology when it comes to food safety. In 2018, Denver was the first in the seafood industry to pioneer a Listeria Strategy Programme, to better understand listeria monocytogenes, its occurrence within the NZKS manufacturing environment and find proven methods to control it. This programme has allowed Denver and his team to identify 19 different strains of Listeria. Denver has been sharing his knowledge and findings with the wider industry in the hope other organisations can still benefit from the tools he has developed.

Andy Smith of Talley’s has been a passionate advocate for the both the New Zealand and international Fishing Industry since he started his career back in the 1970s. He is well known to many as a staunch supporter of the industry and for his often-exercised inclination for standing up for what he believes in and championing the little guy. His sincerity and willingness to lend a hand has been valued by all who have worked with him over the years.

Long game players, Richard and Jean Kibblewhite, are fishing legends, having been involved in the commercial fishing industry since 1987. Their company, Splashzone Ltd, currently owns seven vessels, covering wetfish and crayfishing operations.  Richie has helped 12 young people in the industry obtain their tickets, has given freely of his time for many years, and done an outstanding job as Auctioneer for the Shipwreck Relief Society Fundraiser, this year raising $54,000. Both Richard and Jean are positive, encouraging role models and make the industry a better place.  They are very well deserving of a Longstanding Service Award.

Carol Scott is the CEO of Southern Inshore Fisheries Management Company, a company which represents the interests and rights of quota owners throughout the South Island and Taranaki. Carol has an extensive career in the commercial fishing industry in both Australia and New Zealand, with a background in Fisheries Management, Science and Research, Policy and Marine Planning, Environmental Management, fishing gear and flume tank technology.  Carol is now a member of a number of technical and community-based industry working groups.  For 38 years she has been a highly respected representative of the seafood industry.

George Clement was instrumental in setting up the Deepwater Group 15 years ago, drawing together the vast majority of deepwater quota holders. He has been a relentless advocate for the fisheries. His achievements include overseeing science-based stock assessments, gaining MSC certification for major species including orange roughy, once a byword for overfishing, and having a disparate industry speaking with one voice on policy and interaction with Government and the regulators. The Deepwater Group is a success story and George is a key contributor to that.

Lesley Campbell has led FishServe since 1999 and has driven a relentless pursuit of efficiencies and modernisation over the past 22 years.  Most recently, she has overseen the comprehensive re-build of the original IT systems that are the foundation of the QMS and the transition to electronic reporting.  The result of these efforts are services that are both better and cheaper to the industry.  From the implementation of the systems to support the introduction of the 1996 Fisheries Act, to setting up FishServe Innovations New Zealand, to implementing electronic reporting, she has led the organisation through significant change.  Lesley is a focused and driven individual that has always had the best interests of the industry at heart and is very deserving of a Longstanding Service Award

And the seventh deserving recipient of long service recognition is Tom Clark, a Fisheries Management consultant for Fisheries Inshore New Zealand (FINZ). Tom has a great depth of knowledge a vast array of subjects to do with commercial fishing, can reel off facts and figures at any time, and convert complicated policy into comprehensible briefs quickly and accurately. He is a valuable asset to FINZ and the wider industry. 

There was only one award presented in the Young Achiever category, and that was to Amy Moore, daughter of Craig and Penny Jones of North Beach Fishing in Greymouth. Amy has been instrumental in beginning a Seafood Academy with all high schools on the South Island’s West Coast and working with the Federation of Commercial Fishermen to make a series of mini documentaries to entice more young people into the seafood industry. This year, Amy was selected to represent the seafood industry on the newly formed MPI Food and Fibre Youth Network and in her role, will promote the positive side of the seafood sector.

Congratulations to all our winners.

Media contact: Lesley Hamilton, Seafood NZ Communications Manager, 027 490 1345