Even from its humble beginnings under a highset house in Darwin, Monsoon Aquatics has been going to great depths for its customers and the reef. Having spent his entire life in and around aquariums and the ocean, Daniel Kimberley knew what to look for when collecting and growing live coral for tourist facilities and home enthusiasts. 

So it’s no surprise that just three years after establishing their head office in Bundaberg that the business was named 2021 Australian Exporter of the Year. They also took out top spot in the Agribusiness, Food and Beverage category. 

From their three sites in Bundaberg, Darwin and Cairns, Monsoon Aquatics harvest and propogate live coral, collect fish and culture giant clams, which they export to Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. They lead the market in supplying the largest range of marine life in a single export shipment. Today, exports make up about 70 per cent of their business. 

“That’s all new money coming into Australia,” Daniel said. “That’s something we’re really proud of. The win is recognition for our fantastic staff. They’re as passionate about the coral reefs as we are.” 

Daniel said the easiest way for people living in capital cities or away from the coast to gain an appreciation of the coral reef was through aquariums. “Probably 90 per cent of the world’s population don’t scuba dive or snorkel and if people don’t experience something and they don’t value it, it won’t be protected,” he said. 

As Reef Guardians, Monsoon Aquatics is also trialling captive breeding methods, with the help of a Federal Government grant, in the hope of contributing to reef restoration efforts in the future. “A lot of what we are doing hasn’t been done before, so we take what we do know, combine it with some bucket science, a bit of luck, a lot of hard work and cross our fingers, but just recently we had a world-first captive spawning in our Bundy facility of an Australian coral species,” Daniel said.