Petuna celebrates 70-year milestone

Seventy years after first meeting on Tasmania’s north-east coast, Peter and Una Rockliff will this week celebrate with family, staff and friends the business which, from humble beginnings, has become a Tasmanian success story.

Posted on November 27, 2019

The leading Tasmanian aquaculture business, which began in 1949 when Peter—a young professional fisherman—met his future wife and business partner, Una on the docks at Bridport, has grown over the decades to become Tasmania’s largest multi-species seafood business, providing jobs for hundreds of Tasmanians.

Peter and Una’s son-in-law and Petuna Director, Tim Hess said regardless of how much the business has grown and evolved over the past 70 years, the one thing that has always remained is Petuna’s close family and community ties.

“Petuna is first and foremost a family business, and every employee is by and large considered extended family,” Mr Hess said.

“Over the past 70 years, our communities have become an important part of the Petuna business.

“We really value the support of people in the rural and remote areas in which we operate, and as such we are always conscious of giving back in ways that aim to strengthen these communities.”

The anniversary event, held at Una’s favourite restaurant, Mrs Jones, on the Devonport waterfront on Tuesday night, presented an opportunity for guests to celebrate Petuna’s proud history and to acknowledge the company’s continued innovation and commitment to environmental sustainability and world’s best practice.

Petuna CEO, Ruben Alvarez said the milestone is a time for Petuna to reflect on its achievements of the past 70 years, leading innovation within the industry, from the introduction of Tasmania’s first deep sea fishing vessel, Petuna Endeavour in 1979, to its venture into aquaculture in 1991.

“It is also a time for us to look to the future and plan for the next 70 years and beyond, ensuring we continue the tradition of pioneering research and innovation within the aquaculture industry, to improve animal welfare, biosecurity and environmental conservation,” Mr Alvarez said.

“We are committed to continued innovation, in fact, Petuna is spearheading a ground-breaking research program designed to breed physically-advanced Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout which have the ability to withstand the impact of climate change on sea temperature and oxygen levels.

“Petuna is proud of this important research and development program, which holds enormous significance for the entire industry in Tasmania, especially as seasonal weather conditions continue to change and as the industry pushes further out to sea.”

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