National Fisheries' was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kailis Bros Group in the mid-1980s after the purchase of a Western Rock Lobster processing licence. Burgeoning demand for Western Rock Lobster in Japan, the United States and Taiwan fuelled significant capital investments in catching and processing infrastructure. These investments were designed to improve handling and processing of Western Rock Lobster to allow for live shipment to markets that prized this delicacy for its Sashimi eating quality.
National Fisheries' focus on quality and innovation saw it quickly emerge as the premium exporter of Western Rock Lobster to international markets. The Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 provided impetus to develop alternate markets in Europe, and National Fisheries, as part of the Kailis Bros Group, was well placed with established relationships in the United Kingdom and France. National Fisheries Western Rock Lobster were quickly air and sea freighted to meet the demands of leading retailers, as well as premium food service operators.
Subsequently, the establishment of exceptional hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, such as the Bellagio and the Mandalay, saw demand for high-end food products such as Western Rock Lobster increase in the United States. Whilst these alternate markets grew, National Fisheries maintained a strong presence in the Asian market, and by utilising the latest nitrogen freezing technology, new value-added products were developed such as Frozen Sashimi Western Rock Lobster and Half and Clean Western Rock Lobster. These niche products gained popularity in downstream markets and rapidly grew in volume.
As the industry consolidated, National Fisheries' share of catch increased substantially, and the company invested heavily in class leading processing technology, designed to increase efficiency, improve production capacity, and enhance the quality of Western Rock Lobster production. Expanded live tank capacity both at sea-side depots and at the Canning Vale land-based production facility, improved mortality and volume for export of live Western Rock Lobster. In-line cooking and cleaning systems resulted in consistently better tasting and appearing Western Rock Lobster.
National Fisheries has continued to invest in infrastructure, with specially designed transportation vehicles that have successfully reduced Western Rock Lobster stress. Innovative packing systems have been implemented to minimise damage to animals during shipment and improve marketing to retail consumers.
Through the broader Kailis Bros network, National Fisheries is the largest supplier of Western Rock Lobster to the Australian market. Working closely with customers, National Fisheries has developed customised products that reduce labour, provide tight portion control and consistently great taste in both Australian retail and food service market segments.
National Fisheries remains the benchmark in the Western Rock Lobster industry and as one of the largest processors are well positioned to meet the demands of both domestic and international markets.