Fish co-op gears up for future

CLARENCE River Fishermen’s Co-operative members have voted in a fresh team of directors.

Members at the annual-general meeting elected new directors Donald Johnson and Steven Everson.

At their first meeting, directors voted for the return of David Anderson as chairman and Donald Mowbray as deputy chairman. Graham Williams and independent director Peter Saunders also remain as directors.

Directors will focus on rebuilding the co-op’s processing capacity and infrastructure. They hope to develop new markets in Australia and overseas.

Mr Anderson said the co-op was well placed to continue a pivotal role in the social and economic framework of the Clarence Valley by providing employment and income generation for the community.

“Our products are an important part of the culture of the people of the Clarence and they are appreciated throughout New South Wales and beyond,” Mr Anderson said

“We have a strong team of people committed to ensuring the CRFC has a bright future.

“Many of the co-op’s products such as Yamba prawns, school prawns and the large variety of finfish are regarded as a signature product of the region.

“Clarence River seafood is keenly anticipated by all lovers of fine seafood and particularly those who appreciate regional individuality in quality products,” Mr Anderson said.

Commercial fishing has been part of the Clarence for 150 years.

It has been one of the major industries on the Clarence River through supporting hundreds of families and businesses.

“We will continue to provide the services we have to our members, and with the strong potential for a reduced number of fishing businesses over the next few years (due to the reduced availability of fishing territory) we are planning to adapt to these changes and continue as a major industry in the Clarence Valley,” Mr Anderson said.

Restructuring of the co-op this year has followed the resignation of general manager Russell Creighton after 40 years service.

The management structure is now divided into three areas with Brett Schofield in charge of sales and marketing; Samantha Lane as operations manager; and Kerry Essex in the position of financial controller.

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