Allen G. Hansen, Founder of Tasmanian Seafoods Pty Ltd

Tasmanian Seafoods Pty Ltd got its start when American born Allen G Hansen came to Australia in 1969 to explore where to best establish his abalone processing business.

Born in Oconto, Wisconsin in the United States and of Danish and German decent, Mr Hansen is one of 10 children to Anna (nee Otto) and Irving Hansen.

Graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Mining and Metallurgy and a Bachelor of Naval Science, Mr Hansen used his qualifications during his 10 years as a captain in the US Marine Corps.

Vietnam, Cuba, Panama, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are among the various countries he served in.

Once Allen decided to become a business man he moved to Australia in 1969 with $16,000 to his name to establish Tasmanian Seafoods Pty. Ltd.

A former abalone diver, Allen remembers the average daily catch there was about four dozen, but in Australia I had heard it was about half a tonne per day – a big difference!

Leasing the business’ current site, Mr Hansen constructed the Smithton (EX1046) factory’s prevailing premises before gradually expanding operations to include a factory at Margate (EX816) in the south of the state, Dandenong (EX3397), Victoria and Darwin, N.T.

Operating fishing vessels from various northern, eastern and western Australian coastlines, Tasmanian Seafoods is now a world-renowned processor, wholesaler and exporter specialising in abalone, sea cucumber, prawns and whiting.

Describing the business venture as a “long, long battle” Mr Hansen continues to dedicate his time to the industry, often working nights to communicate with overseas buyers.

A keen supporter of sporting clubs and associations, Mr Hansen established the original tennis courts at the Smithton Country Club in 1977, manually completing much of the labour himself.

His business, Tall Timbers is the major sponsor for both the Smithton Saints and North-West Thunder basketball teams.

Allen generously contributes to the circular head community in Tasmania and in 2016 was awarded the Smithton Lions Club ‘Citizen of the Year”.

He built his first factory (EX1046) in Smithton, Tasmania.  He first supplied Tasmanian abalone steaks to the US market.   Allen helped pioneer markets for frozen and canned Australian abalone in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.

Tasmanian Seafoods is the longest running abalone processing business in Tasmania.

From humble beginnings it has grown into a powerhouse of Australian abalone production, working with the industry to ensure sustainability and secure supply of product.