I bumped into Australian John Curtain and had a great chat about his business, FloatPac Pty Ltd, which is quite unique.

The organization is proudly 100 percent Australian owned and operated and specializes in the manufacture of equipment used in the transport of live fish and fingerlings via air, road and rail freight -- an ever-increasing business.

They have created ‘The FishPac system’ which operates by sustaining live aquatic animals with oxygen. The oxygen flows from an approved air/oxygen cylinder through the FishPac regulator (which has a worldwide patent) and is dispersed in the bin/tote via a ceramic diffuser.

The FishPac system is currently the world’s only fully ICAO and IATA approved live aquatic animal system incorporating oxygen, and operates under the strict guidelines of IATA Special Provision A302.

The benefits of the FishPac system are many but specifically it has proven to increase shippers’ revenue, margin and profit and has proven reliable performance with more than 200,000 bins/totes shipped with no failures. It also creates a low stress arrangement for the transported animals.

The end result is the highest quality product being delivered anywhere in the world. Combining the lowest mortalities available of any transport system, with maximized payloads, reduced carbon footprints and some of the lowest labor costs (for packing) in the world, FishPac successfully transforms any seafood supply business as soon as their system is employed, John boasts.

The business cut its teeth on coral trout and grouper from Cairns, Brisbane, Indonesia and the Maldives but is now regularly shipping wild abalone from Australia to Japan, juvenile turbot and flatfish from Spain to Iceland, juvenile transport of tilapia and other species from the Philippines, and grouper from Taiwan to USA.

John epitomizes the Australian spirit highlighting what can be achieved with technology and the right attitude.

With the Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) Board meeting taking place in Boston on 7 March, there was not much time for too many other conversations but clearly the show was buzzing with record numbers.

It was great to bring AwF to Boston for the first time – these events make you think about AwF in different ways as the commerciality needs to come through. AwF is the seafood industries conscience in many ways and we do need to spread the word more and more about the opportunities that exist to help the poor and needy and at the same time increase food security and nutrition.