Seafood sector benefits netted

For the first time, the economic contribution of the Australia’s entire national seafood industry has been quantified.

Senator the Hon Jonathon Duniam, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries today launched the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Contributions Study 2017-18, which documents the $5.3 billion contribution the seafood industry makes to Australia’s economy.

The Report has found the sector generated a total of 41,253 full time jobs and documents how the sector is an important source of economic resilience and diversity for many regional coastal communities.

This work is an exciting step forward that lays the groundwork for the seafood industry to celebrate and monitor its economic and other contributions and to showcase these to its communities and to Australians in general.

Managing Director of the Fishing Research and Development Corporation, Dr Patrick Hone says, “Understanding the economic and social values for fishing and aquaculture is going to be critical for the future planning of both government and industry given the significant potential for the growth of this sector over the next decade.”

“Quality economic data is a vital component necessary to ensure the fishing and aquaculture sector can contribute to the $100 billion target by 2030,” he said.

Project researcher Dr Julian Morison from BDO EconSearch, says the project results provide a much needed baseline data set which will allow the seafood industries contribution to the national economy be tracked over time.

Dr Morison notes, the data required for this type of contributions study, particularly cost data, can be very useful for other types of economic analyses that can have direct input into management decision making, e.g. bio-economic modelling.

The project has produced a data framework and guidelines that are tailored to fisheries, aquaculture and associated processing industries in Australia. These will support future studies to be cost effective and consistent in a way that helps build on the picture of the economic contribution fisheries and aquaculture industry makes to the economy, at a state and national level.

Agri food and other primary industries undertake these studies as they provide insight into how their industry interacts with other parts of the state or national economy, how and to what degree it generates added value, and where the economic contributions flow to. For example, these studies help to understand how much of their industry’s contribution stays in the state or has spill over effects to other states and territories.

The report and summary snapshot are both available from the FRDC website:

Further state and jurisdiction specific reports on the contributions of fishing and aquaculture will be released in the coming weeks.

The FRDC on behalf of the Australian Government funded the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Contributions Study 2017-18 to produce evidence of industry’s contributions.

The project was undertaken by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania. As part of this project, BDO EconSearch was commissioned to provide an estimate of the economic contribution of Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industries to the Australian community.

Contact –

Peter Horvat
Manager of Communications, Trade and Marketing
Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

D +61 2 6285 0414 
M +61 415 933 557