The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Program’s “Spotlight Stories” highlight BAP-certified facilities around the world and the stories of the people behind them. This Spotlight Story features Humpty Doo Barramundi, a family-owned barramundi business in Australia.
What inspired you to become involved in the seafood industry?
The family behind Humpty Doo Barramundi was inspired to join the seafood industry because we are passionate about fish — catching fish, eating fish and now farming fish! While we now spend more time growing fish than catching it, we still enjoy eating our saltwater barramundi.
Bob and Dan Richards, the father-son duo actively involved in managing Humpty Doo Barramundi, have backgrounds in environmental sustainability through education and previous employment, and it was natural to incorporate environmental sustainability into the farm’s practices as it grew.
When was your company established and how many employees are there?
Humpty Doo Barramundi was established in 1993 and is a family owned and operated company. There are currently 70 people employed by the company.
How has the aquaculture industry impacted your life personally?
The aquaculture industry is our life. Members of the family and staff participate in seafood and aquaculture industry groups at different levels to collaborate on best-practice farming.
How is your company involved in the local community?
In 2018, we formalized our Indigenous Employment Strategy to provide a safe and supportive work environment for Indigenous Australians. We are participating in the Australian Government’s Seasonal Worker’s Program. In 2017, we provided training and employment in aquaculture for six workers from East Timor over our wet season/summer, when it is most difficult to find staff. We were excited to welcome some of them back in 2018 and hear how they had made a difference in the lives of their families and communities as a result of their employment at Humpty Doo Barramundi.
We also actively support local community groups such as the Amateur Fishing Association Northern Territory and Palmerston Game Fishing’s kids’ fishing clinics. These clinics teach kids fishing techniques such as catch and release, as well as water safety and crocodile awareness. Crocodiles are a real danger in northern Australia’s waterways.
We also actively encourage chefs, seafood processors, government advisors and other industry decision makers to visit our farm so we can impress on them the importance of and opportunity in sustainable aquaculture production.
When did your facility become BAP-certified, and why did you choose to do so?
We received BAP certification in September 2017. BAP appealed to Humpty Doo Barramundi as a globally recognized certification that rewards socially responsible and environmentally sustainable aquaculture, and we believe that sustainable aquaculture is the future of providing seafood to the world. Sustainability is not new at Humpty Doo Barramundi. Our saltwater wetland water treatment and reuse minimises impact on the surrounding environment. We choose Ridley’s MarineFloat barramundi feed, which is BAP, GlobalG.A.P. and FeedSafe accredited.
How has becoming certified improved your business?
As a BAP-certified facility, Humpty Doo Barramundi can assure our customers that we have a high standard of responsible aquaculture practices through BAP’s comprehensive third-party audited procedures. It has helped us to focus on improvements in our sustainability performance and reach markets that require independently-certified sustainability certification for our barramundi.