Angelica Fisheries on the New South Wales south coast joined the Pacific Labour Scheme in 2018. The business had struggled to find local labour and now employs 3 workers from Tuvalu. One of the owners, Steve Basile, says being able to access workers from Pacific island countries saved the business.
Angelica Fisheries is a family-owned business in Ulladulla on the New South Wales south coast.
Steve and Joe Basile manage the business for their parents Mario and Patsy.
In 2018, Angelica Fisheries joined the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and travelled to Tuvalu to interview workers for their tuna fishing fleet.
Steve says he struggled to source labour locally and without foreign workers the business would have closed.
“If you’re having trouble getting local employees for your business, I’d recommend seeing what the PLS can offer.
“There are some really nice, reliable, hard-working people out there who really want to work, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
“When I come down to the boat at 2 or 3 in the morning to go fishing, you know they’re there.
“You don’t have to ring them up, chase them up and wait for them. It’s just peace of mind.”
One of Steve’s workers, Talimanatu Uilese, is now earning 10 times more than his usual wage in Tuvalu.
When Uilese finally saved enough money, he was given 5 weeks off so he could return home and build the house he had dreamed of.
Currently, there are 3 Australian tuna operators involved in the PLS with workers from Tuvalu placed in Cairns, Mooloolaba and Ulladulla.