Seafood to rise steadily out of tough year

4 March 2021

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam has welcomed the release of figures in the Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Outlook 2021 confirming the value of exports and production would rise steadily in the five year outlook.

Assistant Minister Duniam gave the opening address at today’s ABARES Outlook 2021 conference Fisheries and Aquaculture session and said the forecast of seafood’s aquaculture-led recovery is a tribute to the work and resilience of all industry participants.

“The seafood industry was the first and worst hit when export markets shut down virtually overnight at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Assistant Minister Duniam said. 

“While the latest data forecasts a decline in production value in 2020-21 because of COVID-19 and trade disruptions, the five year outlook is positive, which is welcome good news for all. 

“The data shows seafood production will increase at an average annual rate of 1.6 per cent to 2025–26.

“Export values will grow, with a forecast 1.8 per cent rise in real export value from 2021-22 to 2025-26 to reach $1.4 billion.

“Salmonid production is expected to grow at a yearly average of 4.4 per cent, reaching $1.1 billion in production value by 2025-26 and accounting for 35 per cent of fisheries and aquaculture value of production that year. 

“Other aquaculture species expected to see growth include prawns, oysters, abalone, and other finfish varieties including barramundi and kingfish.

“The seafood industry demonstrated incredible resilience in responding to the challenge with innovative solutions, such as home delivery and digital seafood marketplaces.

“Our Government put in a range of measures to help the seafood industry, including waiving levies for Commonwealths managed fisheries, supporting seafood exporters through the $670 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism, and providing $72.7 million for an Agri-Business Expansion Initiative to help businesses expand and grow their exports. 

“The challenges are not over yet, and our Government will be there every step of the way.”

The ABARES Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Outlook 2021 can be accessed by visiting www.agriculture.gov.au/abares