Australis Aquaculture wins prestigious climate innovation award

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Massachusetts-based company honored for advancing climate-smart ocean aquaculture in Vietnam’s marine tropics

australis aquaculture
Australis Aquaculture, which farms barramundi (Lates calcarifer) in Vietnam where it has pioneered climate-smart ocean farming practices, has received the U.S. Secretary of State’s 2021 Award for Corporate Excellence in the Climate Innovation category. Photo courtesy of Australis.

Australis Aquaculture, a producer of barramundi (Lates calcarifer) and pioneer of climate-smart ocean farming practices in the marine tropics, has received the U.S. Secretary of State’s 2021 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) in the Climate Innovation category.

Established in 1999, the award recognizes and honors U.S. companies that “uphold high standards as responsible members of their communities” and “represent American values in the way they do business, in line with international best practices such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.” This year, Australis Aquaculture was selected as a winner for advancing climate-smart ocean aquaculture in Vietnam’s marine tropics.

“The combination of ocean overfishing and climate change pose accelerating risks to our global food supply and to marine economies around the world,” said Marie Damour, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission to Vietnam, at the awards ceremony on Dec. 8th. “Through its innovative approach to fish farming and processing, Australis has developed a new model for large scale ocean aquaculture in the marine tropics that creates economic benefits for workers and coastal communities, enhances global food security, protects wild fisheries, and builds climate resilience.”

Australis Aquaculture is also developing technology to cultivate a seaweed species with the potential to eliminate methane emissions from cattle when part of their diet. Damour praised the company for achieving fair trade certification – the first and only aquaculture finfish producer to do so – and for following a “science-based approach” to ocean aquaculture that produces “clean, traceable, and healthy fish without reliance on antibiotics or chemicals.”

“The company has achieved this through the development of world-class husbandry techniques, specialized fish vaccines and feed formulations, and the application of technology to scale its operations in a highly sustainable manner,” said Damour. “Australis has relied on local workers at all levels to support its growth, expanding economic opportunities in the beautiful coastal region of Vietnam through its competitive wages, gender equity, and safe working conditions.”

Award nominations are put forward by Chiefs of Mission of U.S. embassies and consulates, for the work of a U.S. company in a particular country. Finalists and winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of senior U.S. government officials.

“It is truly an honor to accept this award on behalf of Australis Aquaculture, and we are tremendously proud to have our efforts to bring a new model of sustainable aquaculture to the marine tropics recognized by the U.S. Government,” said Josh Goldman, CEO of Australis Aquaculture. “We also wish to express our deep appreciation to the Government of Vietnam and Khánh Hòa Province for their abiding support of our vision for climate-smart aquaculture.”

Watch the full awards ceremony here.

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