Australia’s seafood sector is expected to grow substantially, with continued growth in consumption in Australia and overseas.
According to ABARES analysts, new markets and opportunities are emerging for Australian seafood producers.
Speaking at the recent ABARES Outlook conference in Canberra, ABARES Fisheries Economics Director, Robert Curtotti, said conditions were just right for the Australian seafood sector to grow.
“Both here and abroad, the conditions for Australian seafood producers are very positive with a falling Australian dollar, easing labour market pressures, rising demand, lower fuel costs and a number of free trade agreements coming into force,” Mr Curtotti said.
“Seafood consumption is rising worldwide, and production is growing to help meet that demand—global production of seafood is now around 160 million tonnes and rising.
“Almost all this growth in global consumption is being met by aquaculture, and Australia is matching this trend with aquaculture’s share in gross value of production increasing by 12 per cent since 2003–04 to 43 per cent and $1.1 billion in 2013–14.
“Wild catch fisheries production value has also increased to $1.5 billion in 2013-14.
“Being an export-focused industry, all these factors combine to make Australian seafood products very competitive in an international market.”
Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, highlighted the opportunities that exist for Australia’s fisheries industries.
“Australia’s fisheries are among the best managed in the world and this Government believes there are significant opportunities for the industry to grow,” Senator Colbeck said.
“We are working with industry to reduce regulatory burden and remove unnecessary red tape – this will help create a more profitable and sustainable future for our fisheries.”
ABARES Outlook 2015 is Australia’s leading forum for public and private decision-makers in agriculture. This year marked the 45th anniversary of the annual conference.