Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture rebounds as demand for seafood recovers

Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industry is expected to rebound during 2021-22 as economies re-open and demand grows for seafood.

Executive Director of ABARES Dr Jared Greenville said when speaking about ABARES Australian fisheries and aquaculture: Outlook to 2026–27 that the industry’s gross value of production was forecast to grow by 10 per cent in 2021–22.

“At the moment the value of the industry is forecast to reach $3.55 billion in 2021-22, the highest it’s been since 2002-03,” Dr Greenville said, adding that this strong growth is down to unanticipated growth in prices of farmed salmonid and oysters and farmed and wild-caught prawns.

“This jump in prices reflects higher demand for seafood products as economies open up and higher input costs for seafood producers,” he added.

The other big success story is the growth of Australia’s aquaculture industry, he said, adding that the value of the aquaculture and wild-catch sectors were neck-and-neck in 2019-20, but in 2021–22 aquaculture is expected to be the dominant segment of the seafood industry, hitting a peak production value of over $2 billion for the first time.

“There has been a global rise in aquaculture over the past two decades, including in Australia. The growth of Australian aquaculture has been driven largely by increased production of salmonids. We’re also looking at an increase in exports this year, with the value of fisheries and aquaculture product exports expected to grow in 2021–22 by 7 per cent to $1.34 billion,” he added.

Australia expects this trend to continue in the medium term as well, with growing incomes and populations fuelling demand for Australian seafood, Dr Greenville said, adding that between 2022-23 and 2026–27, real export value is projected to rise by 1.8 per cent to $1.38 billion, averaging annual growth of 0.5 per cent over this period.”

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