Aquaculture production value increase12 % yoy
Value of fisheries imports is64
times greater than exports
Based on DPI analysis, the value of the fishing industry in 2017-18 is estimated to be $170 million, up 7% year-on-year. In addition to a provisional increase of 12% achieved by the aquaculture sector, the wild caught sector is estimated to have increased by 3%.
At the date of publication, detailed industry Output figures for the wild caught and aquaculture sectors are not available. The following commentary analyses 2016-17 industry trends.
The total value of the wild caught sector was $89.3 million in 2016–17, down 2.4% year-on-year, and accounting for 56.1% of the total value of the fishing industry46.
Fish are the biggest contributor by volume to the wild caught sector, however landings (tonnes) declined by 14% year-on-year, marking the third consecutive year of reductions (2% in 2015–16 and 14% in 2014–15). In contrast, landings for crustaceans and molluscs both increased year-on-year (2% and 12% respectively). There was an overall decline in catch volume of 10% year-on-year46.
The total value of aquaculture production was $70 million in 2016–17, up 8% year-on-year, accounting for 43.9% of the total value of the fishing industry45.
Sydney rock oysters made up 58% of the total value of aquaculture production, up 10% year-on-year. Similarly, black tiger prawns accounted for 11% of the total value of aquaculture production, up 31% year-on-year. In both cases, growth was driven by increases in the volume of production and the average price received by farmers45.
As is the case for other developed countries, Australia is a net importer of seafood — domestic demand for seafood products outstrips supply. However, most of Australia’s high-value seafood products that could supply the domestic market are exported as higher prices are available in global markets50. Seafood imports are generally lower-value products, such as frozen fish fillets, prawns and canned fish50.
NSW exports of fisheries products for 2017–18 were valued at $9.3 million, compared with imports of $593.9 million. The top five export markets were Japan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Thailand and China. Interestingly, imports were from similar regions, with the top five countries of origin Thailand, China, Vietnam, New Zealand and Malaysia54.