Outlook 2015: Conditions are right for Australian seafood industry to grow

4 March 2015

The outlook for the seafood sector is bright, with continued growth in seafood consumption both in Australia and overseas providing new markets and opportunities for Australian producers.

That’s the message from ABARES analysts as they launched the March issue of the Agricultural Commodities report at the Outlook conference in Canberra today.

Speaking at today’s Outlook conference, 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.”

Mr Curtotti was joined at the session—sponsored by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation—by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, as well as industry representatives, to present these forecasts and discuss the future of the industry in Australia.

Senator Colbeck chaired today’s session and 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.”

This analysis was part of ABARES Outlook 2015 being held in Canberra on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 March. Australia’s leading forum for public and private decision-makers in agriculture—Outlook marks its 45th annual conference this year with expert analysis of the business of agriculture.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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