Wild caught fisheries production up

​​​​​​18 December 2015

The value of Australian fisheries and aquaculture production rose by 4 per cent to $2.5 billion in 2013-14—driven by a 10 per cent increase in the value of wild capture fisheries production, according to the latest report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

Releasing Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics 2014 today, ABARES Executive Director, Karen Schneider, said the largest increase in the value of production was of rock lobster.

“Rock lobster production rose by 33 per cent (or $147 million) to become the largest species group produced at $586 million,” Ms Schneider said.

“This was a result of a 32 per cent increase in the average unit price of rock lobster.

“The value of prawn production value from wild capture fisheries rose by 26 per cent to $274 million.

“Overall, wild catch fisheries contributed 60 per cent of the gross value of Australian fisheries and aquaculture production in 2013-14.

“The value of Australian aquaculture production declined in 2013-14, by 6 per cent to $1 billion, but the story is mixed.

“Salmonids remain the largest contributor to Australian aquaculture production, accounting for 55 per cent of the total value. A continued increase in the value of salmonid production (by 5 per cent to $543 million) and prawns (by 6 per cent to $64 million) was offset by a decline in the production of aquaculture tuna—the value of southern blue fin tuna production declined by $31 million (20 per cent) to $122 million.

“The value of Australian fisheries and aquaculture product exports increased by $129 million to $1.3 billion in 2013-14, with the export value of rock lobster rising by 32 per cent.

“The rise in exports was more than matched by a rise in imports to $2 billion in 2013-14. This resulted in the trade gap in fisheries and aquaculture products increasing to $697 million.

“Seafood imports contributed an estimated 69 per cent of Australian seafood consumption in 2013-14.

“Australia tends to import a range of low unit value products, including canned tuna and salmon but exports high unit value products such as rock lobster, abalone, whole tuna, and prawns.”

Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics is part of a suite of ABARES publications that provides a comprehensive account of historical trends in, and the outlook for, Australian fisheries.

On releasing the report, Ms Schneider acknowledged the valuable assistance and contribution of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

To read the report visit ABARES Publications.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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