Processing

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Seafood harvested in Tasmania will in general pass through a licenced seafood processor or fish handling facility. At a processor, product may be stored, packaged live for transport to mainland and export markets, processed for delivery to markets and/or value-added.

The Tasmanian seafood processing sector works with a wide variety of product from scalefish, shellfish, and scallops, to sea urchin, rock lobster, and abalone. The availability and processing of aquaculture species such as salmon and oysters is largely constant throughout the year. However, the variable seasonality of wild caught species does affect the demand for processing workers.

Processing jobs could include filleting fish, shucking oysters and scallops, packaging product, delivery and logistics and management and administration. Processors are looking for a good meat recovery rate and speed when hiring processing attendants. Good knife skills are essential!

The recovery rate refers to the weight of the end product (e.g. fillets), as a percentage of the original whole animal weight. For example, if you fillet 15kg of snapper, and you end up with 5.4kg of fillets, then your recovery rate is 36%.

In 2011, there were approximately 311 people employed in the processing sector, excluding those in the salmon processing workforce. Salmonid processing makes up a large proportion of the Tasmanian processing workforce, with 39% of people in the large salmonid workforce (2,090 direct full-time equivalent jobs in 2015) working in processing.

In 2017-2018, almost 70,000 tonnes of Tasmanian seafood was produced and processed.

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Careers in the Processing industry


Types of Jobs

Jobs:

General processing
• Management
• Process Supervisor
• Leading Hand
• Process Worker
• Truck Drivers


Salmonid
• 2IC Processing Managers
• Cleaners
• Cost Analysts
• Dispatch Attendants
• Dispatch Manager
• Processing Attendants
• Senior Managers
• Senior Processing Attendants
• Shift Supervisors
• Team Leaders

Shellfish
• Splitters

Skills and Requirements

Skills and Requirements

Processing jobs will not typically require formal qualifications, but previous experience in a similar role is highly regarded, along with existing knife skills, and knowledge of the aquaculture industry.


On-the-job training is usually provided, but the following skills are generally desirable:

• Reliable and have a good work ethic
• Attention to detail
• Physically fit and able to work in a fast-paced environment
• Focused on ensuring a culture of safety for yourself and team members
• A positive, ‘can-do’ attitude

Companies

Jobs:

Head to tsic.org.au/resources-processors to find a full list of Tasmanian processing businesses.


As well as independent processing businesses, the following vertically integrated businesses process their own products:

• Tassal
• Huon
• Petuna (including Van Diemen Aquaculture)
• Mures

Careers in Seafood