10 March 2022

Aquaculture target reached with record production value

Australian aquaculture is poised to become the largest sector of the Australian seafood industry and surpass $2 billion of production value for the first time.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said this record-breaking year for aquaculture was just a sign of things to come for the sector, which had gone from strength-to-strength in recent years.

“This financial year the Australian aquaculture industry is projected to grow to $2.16 billion, up 21 per cent from last year,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“This is an extraordinary achievement. When we released the National Aquaculture Strategy in 2017, we set a goal for aquaculture to reach a value of $2 billion a year by 2027.

“To be reaching this goal five years ahead of schedule – only halfway through our timeline – is nothing short of remarkable.

“It is a testament to the ingenuity shown by the aquaculture industry for many years, and the resilience it has shown particularly in the last two years.

“That resilience, coupled with strong, sustainable management, has enabled this industry to take advantage of more demand and higher prices as economies open up post-COVID-19.

“The Morrison Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism has been crucial to keeping the industry alive through the pandemic and allowing producers to access international markets even as trade dried up.

“The aquaculture sector has also been highly successful in broadening the variety of species produced to appeal to consumers – with an increased emphasis on prawns, abalone, oysters and finfish, including barramundi and kingfish.

“Opportunities for further developing new products such as seaweed aquaculture are being investigated, with huge potential.

“There are exciting new developments in Queensland and the Northern Territory to expand prawn farming, which will grow not only our aquaculture industry but create sustainable, ethical sources for an Aussie favourite.

“And of course, the scientific trial of aquaculture in Commonwealth waters being undertaken by the Blue Economy CRC has the potential to open up new sustainable offshore aquaculture areas for development.

“As a sustainable and ethical source of protein, aquaculture is a big part of the answer to concerns about food security and the sustainability.

“I look forward to working further with the sector to bring this to fruition.”

The Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture: Outlook to 2026–27 can be read here: https://www.awe.gov.au/abares/research-topics/fisheries/fisheries-economics/fisheries-forecasts.

Fast Facts:

  • The Strategy articulates a national vision for unlocking the industry’s potential, identifying priority areas for the industry and the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to address and outlining a range of achievable actions.
  • The Strategy has a headline objective of growing the value of Australia’s aquaculture production to $2 billion per year by 2027. The Australian aquaculture sector is projected to grow to $2.16 billion in 2021-22.