David Carter

Don't wait for permission to go carbon neutral!

November 2020

Talk length:


Don't wait for permission to go carbon neutral! | David Carter | TEDxPerth

David Carter made his entire business carbon neutral in just 402 days. He explains why and how he did it, and how you can go carbon neutral too. Austral Fisheries has been carbon neutral since 2016 – where he once believed climate change was a taboo topic, he now knows it is all about risk and money – a language business understands perfectly.

David Carter

David graduated from Melbourne
University in 1978 with a science
degree in marine zoology and went
to sea as a deckhand on a prawn
trawler out of Darwin immediately
after that. David has worked in the
same industry, and for the same
company, for his whole career and
has been exposed to most of what
the fishing industry has to offer;
from science and policy through
to operations, management,
marketing and sales. He has been
CEO of Austral Fisheries since
2003, and he has a deep-seated
belief in sustainability, fairness and
equity, and ‘doing the right thing’
over short term expediency.

David has a strong commitment
to science-based fisheries
management, believing deeply in
recognition of sustainable fisheries
performance through third party
certification schemes such as the
Marine Stewardship Council.
David is regarded locally and
internationally as responsible and
progressive and in 2012 was
admitted to the Australian fishing
industry’s ‘hall of fame’. In 2020
he was recognised for being in
the top 100 world’s most powerful
seafood influencers by Intrafish
magazine. Under his leadership of
Austral, the company has also been
an effective voice in reducing the
prevalence of illegal fishing globally.

In 2016 David led Austral to
becoming the first fishing company
in the world to achieve carbon
neutral status. Austral promote this
fact through supply chains that

handle the company’s premium-
branded seafood products. Austral

have accumulated a number of
awards and recognition over the
years, most recently the Banksia
award for sustainability in the small
to medium business category.
David is married and has one
daughter, and he has an active
interest in cycling – with highlights
including climbing the famous
Col du Tourmalet in France,
and Passo del Stelvio in Italy.
David is also a keen amateur
photographer and drone pilot.