Farmed fish on the rise

Southern rock lobster
image published under CC BY-SA 3.0

20 December 2016

It is still a minor contributor to Australia's $60 billion agricultural industry, but the production of Australian fisheries sector, from both wild-catch and aquaculture, is growing strongly on the back of strong export demand and a low Australian dollar.

According to recent estimates by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), the gross value of the sector's production was $2.8 billion in 2014-15, after increasing by 12% from the previous year.

And as highlighted in ABARES Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics 2015 report, aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important contributor: its products were worth $1.2 billion, up 19% from the previous year, providing 42% of the sector's total production value.

Much of this was due to Tasmanian salmonid, Australia's most important aquaculture species. Its value was up 16% to $631 million, contributing 53% of the total gross value of Australian aquaculture production in 2014-15.

However, wild-caught rock lobster remained our most valuable seafood overall, estimated at $668 million, up 14%.

Roughly half of Australias seafood production is exported, with rock lobster accounting for almost 50% of its total value, which rose by $135 million or 10% to $1.4 billion in 2014-15.

Meanwhile imports remained largely unchanged at a value of around $2 billion.

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