BAP Spotlight Story: Seafarms

BAP: Tell us a little bit about Seafarms.

Seafarms: Seafarms has been investing in the Australian prawn-farming industry for many years and has developed a reputation for producing superior tasting Australian black tiger prawns and banana prawns, sold under the Crystal Bay® Prawns brand. 

Established more than 30 years ago to become one of the most respected and long-standing aquaculture operations, the Seafarms name pays homage to the work of its founder and industry pioneer Ervin Vidor AM.

Our facilities are based in Innisfail, Cardwell and Ingham in north Queensland and the business employs more than 100 people.  

Achieving Best Aquaculture Practices certification was a natural fit for the Seafarms business, matching our values and work ethos.    

Our vision is to transform aquaculture enterprise by leading the sustainable development of large-scale prawn production systems to deliver reliable, long term supplies of quality seafood.

BAP: Can you describe the future direction of your company?

Seafarms: Seafarms’ mission is to develop the world class Project Sea Dragon, a global scale prawn aquaculture project to be developed across northern Australia culminating in the operation of 10,000 hectares of prawn production ponds.  

Project Sea Dragon takes all parts of the production chain and puts them together so there is complete control from breeding and hatcheries to processing and exporting. It is a significant enterprise, but it’s necessary to make sure we build, own and control the critical elements in the production process.

In line with the world’s middle-class population growth, increased seafood consumption will continue, particularly in Asia, driving big demand for seafood around the world. We need to contribute to providing it as sustainably as possible.

We are driven by the future for farmed Australian black tiger prawns, with vast potential to sell our sustainable products domestically and internationally.  

BAP: What does being BAP certified mean to your company?

Seafarms: Sustainability is embedded in Seafarms’ culture. As one of Australia’s largest producers of farmed prawns, Seafarms is proud to be leading the Australian prawn aquaculture industry as the first Australian prawn producer to achieve four-star BAP status. 

Seafarms has invested in all aspects of sustainability. Our products are produced in accordance with the BAP international principles of sustainable aquaculture production. BAP certification is third-party recognition that it is possible to take mature assets and invest in them to make them sustainable. It is about trying to make a contribution and showing it can be done.

BAP: How is Seafarms involved in the local community?

Seafarms: Seafarms values strong relationships with the local communities in which we operate. We have a local community sponsorship program, sponsor local golf tournaments and sporting uniforms, donate prawn products to civic organizations and local schools, and are involved in the yearly Cardwell Seafest. 

Seafarms has undertaken extensive community consultation as Project Sea Dragon has progressed through regulatory milestones. The company acknowledges the traditional owners and their ancestors of the lands on which the Project Sea Dragon will be constructed. 

Once operational, the project will be one of the biggest employers in northern Australia, creating sustainable jobs in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. There will be a huge benefit for regional economies, particularly around the Northern Territory, where 30 per cent of the population is Indigenous. Project Sea Dragon will offer long term jobs with a great diversity in roles and potential career paths.

BAP: When did you become BAP-certified, and why did you decide to pursue BAP certification?

Seafarms: We achieved four-star BAP status in April 2020. 

This certification is recognition of Seafarms’ commitment to sustainability throughout our supply chain. It enables consumers of Crystal Bay® Prawns to enjoy our delicious prawns, knowing that they have been safely and sustainably grown to the highest international standards.

How has becoming certified improved your business, internally and externally?

Seafarms: Achieving four-star BAP certification means that our prawns are certified the entire way through the production process, including how our prawns are reared, processed and packed. BAP certification covers environmental responsibility, social accountability, food safety and animal welfare and verifies that our products are produced to the highest international standards. It is a promise to our customers that every time they purchase, they know they are receiving the most sustainable, high quality Australian prawns.