10 March 2022

Australia’s resilient fisheries and aquaculture bounce back

Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors are set to reach a 20-year high this financial year, with the domestic industry on the up and exports forecast to rise for years to come.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the ABARES Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Outlook 2022, released today, showed the sectors would reach $3.55 billion this year, up from $3.2 billion in 2020-21.

“We’re looking at the value of Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industry rebounding this year by ten per cent to the highest level since 2002-03,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“Given the challenges faced through COVID and trade tensions, it is proof of how resilient the industry is and is welcome news for Australia’s seafood producers.

“The Morrison Government has worked hard to support producers throughout the pandemic across a variety of measures, particularly IFAM that we put in place to keep global air links open in response to the ongoing trade impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“IFAM has supported the export of around 56,000 tonnes of seafood out of Australia throughout the pandemic, valued at over $1.1 billion.

“We’re seeing increased demand for seafood exports this year. Exports are expected to be valued at $1.34 billion in 2021-22.

“There’s also been an unexpected jump in prices for salmon, oysters and prawns, as consumers are keen to sink their teeth into Australian seafood.

“Keeping our seafood moving overseas has allowed our domestic producers to take advantage of these price rises and increasing demand.

“With markets opening back up again after COVID-19 we expect this to continue.

“ABARES are predicting this growth in exports will continue for years to come as our export markets experience population growth and more people get a taste for Australian seafood.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the incredible work of Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

“Despite everything that the last two years have thrown at them, they’ve managed to keep kicking goals and that is something to be celebrated.”

Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Fisheries Association Andrew Sullivan said the ABARES forecast is confirmation of the resilience and dedication of Australia’s Commonwealth fishers.

“Government efforts to maintain market access and improve business certainty have allowed our seafood producers to get on with the job of providing consumers with our world-class sustainable seafood,” Mr Sullivan said.

“The increased awareness and demand for sustainable Australian seafood by consumers has been a silver lining of the pandemic.”

Chief Executive Officer of Seafood Industry Australia Veronica Papacosta said the support of the Australian Government has allowed the industry to work together to produce strong results.

“It’s been an extraordinary two years for the Australian seafood industry. We’ve dealt with natural disasters, trade export restrictions and the impacts of COVID-19, to see a return to growth shows we are on the right track,” Ms Papacosta said.

“The industry has been united in our actions and work with the Australian Government through measures including IFAM, the development and launch of our industry brand Great Australian Seafood, and our efforts to diversify export markets through the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation program.

“The tangible growth of the industry shows government and industry collaboration coupled with direct supports can create real results.”

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.