Fishermen's Co-Op reel in new business

Published: Wednesday, 30 January 2019 at 4:57:57 PM

Local seafood will gain even more spotlight following the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-Operative’s (GFC) acquisition of popular fish and chips shop Barnacles on the Wharf.

The decision to acquire the business and make cooked crayfish a staple on the menu aligns with the Minister for Fisheries Dave 's vision to see Western 's lobster industry thrive and boost tourism.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said it was great to see local fishermen and the GFC delivering the 's goal.

Geraldton is well-known for its crayfishing industry and by having it available at a popular café such as Barnacles makes the product more accessible, affordable and is a big step forward for tourism, a," he said.

"The local fishing industry is a major part of our economy and they're doing their part to ensure the industry continues to grow and thrive.

"Geraldton is also making a bid to be the regional host for the Western Rock Lobster Festival, and I believe the GFC's decision to acquire Barnacles and introduce lobster strengthens our position to host it."

Geraldton Fishermen's Co-Operative's Chief Executive Officer Matt Rutter said that the purchase of Barnacles in October was underpinned by the Co-Op's strategy to expand into complimentary business streams such as retail and tourism.

Since 1950, GFC has been connecting its fishers to customers at home and abroad. The purchase of Barnacles is a natural next chapter in our history, he said.

We export worldwide and see significant opportunities to link food exports with food tourism, including in the huge China market where GFC actively promotes Western Australia via its wholly owned China company and lobster facilities. 

We are looking forward to working with the City of Greater Geraldton, the Mid West Ports Authority and other stakeholders to create a unique fishing boat harbour dining experience which will provide lasting benefits to all in the Geraldton community.

Whilst Shane Van Styn shares the vision of the Minister in relation to hosting the event and increasing the supply of lobster domestically, he does not support a state-owned lobster quota and believes an industry-led solution would ensure longevity and sustainability of the industry for professional fishermen and recreational fishers alike.

More information about the GFC's acquisition of Barnacles on the Wharf can be found on either the Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative or Barnacles on the Wharf" Facebook pages.   

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