DPI analysis estimated the value of the fishing industry during 2019-20 to be $174 million, down 4% year-on-yearal. The aquaculture sector declined by an estimated 8% and the wild harvest sector by an estimated 14%.
Construction crews placed more than 3,300 tonnes of rock and over 180 cubic metres of recycled oyster shell onto reef restoration sites in Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park in 2019-20.
The oyster shell was collected from the local oyster farms and used to provide a base for oyster settlement on the new oyster reefs.
This is a fantastic way to improve the health of the estuary and marine park as oysters are natural water filters.
Illegal fishers have nowhere to hide in NSW waters following the launch of the NSW Government’s $3.3 million Solitary Ranger.
This is the largest and most technologically advanced vessel DPI Fisheries has ever had at its disposal, and it will allow DPI to crack down on illegal fishers across the state.
Fisheries officers will have the latest mapping and surveillance equipment at their fingertips, such as infrared cameras, to help catch anyone doing the wrong thing.
The wild harvest fishery sector accounted for 56.4% of the total value of the fishing industry in 2018-19. Over the last five years, wild harvest landings have remained fairly consistent at around 12,000 tonnes each year. Over the same time however, the value of the industry output has increased 12% to $104 million 66.
The high unit value, gourmet nature of mollusc species such as abalone and crustacean species such as lobster continues to drive the relative contribution of these categories to the overall value of the industry. This contrasts with finfish, which routinely contribute 75-80% of landings by weight, yet only account for around 46% of the industry’s output value.
In 2018-19 aquaculture output grew by $1.96 million, or 2.5% year-on-year to reach $80.4 million - $43.6% of total NSW Fisheries output.
Once again Sydney Rock Oysters (the largest aquaculture sector by far) experienced a strong year, growing 10.1% year-on-year to reach a value of $53.6 million. This growth continued to be driven by strong industry investment and reform in management and operations. In contrast were the waning fortunes of the Pacific Oyster sector, down to a value of just $1.1 million, a fall of 63% from 2017-18. This sector continued to struggle with a history of mortality events and limited supply of seed stock 60,61.
The land-based industry sectors also faced a mix of challenges and opportunity. Still struggling with the consequences of interstate disease outbreaks and resulting mitigation strategies, Black Tiger Prawn output fell a further 42% year-on-year, to a value of just $3.4 million 60,61.
The Murray Cod and Barramundi aquaculture sectors both experienced strong growth (up 30.9% and 29.3%) year-on-year respectively. While barramundi remained a very small sector with a value under $1 million, Murray Cod continued to experience strong investment and potential for export and its output reached $6.4 million in 2018-19 60,61.
NSW is a net importer of seafood products and over the past five years, the relative value of imports compared to exports has increased dramatically. In 2014-15, the value of imports ($540 million) was 43 times greater than exports. In 2019-20, imports have reached a value ($605 million) 96 times greater than exports 94. Over the same time period, the value of NSW seafood exports declined almost 50%, to $6.3 million.
Asian countries were the main export destination for NSW seafood products with China, Vietnam, Thailand and Japan being the key markets.
Australia’s proximity to these markets and reputation as a reliable and high-quality supplier, combined with changes to population, income levels and consumer preferences are key factors in this market. High value crustacean (e.g. lobster) and mollusc (eg. abalone) were key export species 2,61,94.
Conversely, imports of fisheries and aquaculture products were dominated by lower value products such as a canned (largely tuna) or frozen fish, as well as higher value items like prawns and salmon 2.