Industry toolkit focuses on communication

Storybooks, recipes, videos and infographics are all part of the mix industry leaders are using to share the story of fishing and seafood

By Julie Haldane

Connecting with younger Australians has been the focus of several initiatives from the FRDC’s 2014 National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP), including children’s books and online resources for teachers.

The 14 members of the 2014 NSILP program graduated in Canberra in September, where they launched their vision and mission for the future of the fishing industry and outlined the projects they developed during the program.

Collectively these projects form a toolkit to help different sectors promote the industry through the effective presentation of information.

Children’s books

Image of cover of book Captain of My Fishing BoatImage of cover of book Coastal Crabber Illustrated storybook Captain of my Fishing Boat and photographic picture book Coastal Crabber: life as a professional fisher.

NSILP participants identified that there were few books about fishing aimed at children, especially those aged six to eight. To address this gap, the group produced two books: an illustrated storybook Captain of my Fishing Boat and a photographic picture book Coastal Crabber: life as a professional fisher.

Copies of the storybook are already in use in an ACT school and Penguin Australia is reviewing the book for publication.The photographic picture book has been published as an e-book and can be downloaded free from the Blurb website bookstore, and is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod devices.

There is also a link to a YouTube video that gives children ‘real’ visuals of how the industry operates. The project team also developed a photographic-picture-book template so other groups within the seafood community can develop their own.

Resource list

The resource list Schools of Fish is an effort to create an online collection of seafood industry resources. The list aims to give teachers and curriculum writers access to information about seafood industry sectors so that fisheries can be more easily incorporated into the school curriculum.

The team intends to present the collection to the Primary Industry Education Foundation for further promotion.


The cookbook Fisherman and the Chef was devised to showcase Australian seafood and promote seafood producers and recreational fishers, as well as engage well-known chefs.

The group gathered profiles, photographs and recipes from fishers and farmers, as well as recipes from chefs, and compiled these into a book, which has been printed. A PDF of the book is also available.

Some sectors of the seafood industry have expressed interest in using recipes from Fisherman and the Chef on their websites.

Video resources and QR code

A six-and-a-half-minute video, ‘The sustainable Mud Crab Story’, was produced by the NSILP’s video resources and quick response (QR) code group.

The video features a day in the life of Mud Crab fisher Troy Billin, with cooking tips from celebrity chef Fast Ed (Edward Halmagyi). Published on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, the video has been shared by industry including the Commercial Fishermen’s Co-op, the Professional Fishermen’s Association and Sydney Fish Market.

The group also generated a QR code for the video for easy access by mobile phone. The team hopes to have the video filmed and edited professionally and to see the QR code on menus, price tags, online and in printed supermarkets catalogues.


Providing simple but potent communication and education tools for industry was the goal of the Seafood Knowledge Condensed: Infographics team.

Infographics are a powerful tool for conveying key messages and gaining attention.

The group produced sample infographics and a step-by-step guide for industry to develop their own.

Infographics are useful as fact sheets for sharing through social media and on industry association websites, print advertising, posters in retail outlets and in the education system.

Role of leadership

FRDC executive director Patrick Hone says the seafood industry is changing rapidly. “The industry must invest in developing people to initiate and manage this change across the board. There is always a role for leadership, regardless of your position,” he says.

Applications for the 2015 NSILP program are now open. The program is delivered over six months through three residential sessions of three days each. The program focuses on developing skills at three levels: personal, business and national industry. It is funded through the FRDC and developed, managed and delivered by Rural Training Initiatives. 

Photo Caption

2014 National Seafood Industry Leadership Program graduates
(From left) Jacqui Johnson – seafood industry teacher, Trenayr Campus North Coast TAFE, Grafton, NSW; Donna English – promotion and marketing officer, Northern Territory Seafood Council, Fisherman’s Wharf, Darwin, NT; Trent O’Brien – sales and refitting, Tropic Ocean Prawns Australia, Redlynch, Queensland; Nathan Adams – abalone fisher and licence holder from Augusta, WA; Stephanie Williams – marketing and public relations executive, Sydney Fish Market, NSW; James Florisson – research officer, Recfishwest, Hillarys, WA; Jane Wilson – salesperson, A Raptis and Son, Colmslie, Queensland; Troy Billin – commercial fisher, Clarence River/northcoast region, NSW; Luyin (Camay) Young – inventory and procurement manager, Austral Fisheries, Pyrmont, NSW; Charlotte Connell – communications manager, Marine Stewardship Council, Miranda, NSW; Jamie Sellen – owner and manager, Coffin Bay Oysters, Port Lincoln, SA; Naomi Brydon – assistant director, Fisheries Reform, Queensland Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cairns; Patrick Sachs – Australian Fisheries Management Authority, liaison officer to the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation, ACT; and John Maloney – general manager, Pacific Reef Fisheries Australia, Ayr, Queensland.

Photo: Julie Haldane

FRDC Research Code: 2012-401

More information

Jill Briggs, 02 6035 7284, 0409 455 710

Rural Training Initiatives