Australian Seafood Trade and Market Access


International trade is an important part of the Australian seafood industry

Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industry is a minor global player, producing less than 0.2 per cent of global fisheries and aquaculture supply. However, the industry exports a range of high unit value fisheries and aquaculture products, with an estimated production value of $1.3 billion (or 46 per cent of total fisheries value) exported in 2013–14. Comparatively the total value of Australian imports of fisheries and aquaculture products was $2 billion.

Australian fisheries export a range of high unit value products, with export earnings accounting for 46 per cent of the total production value in 2013–14. Japan was the major export destination for Australian fisheries and aquaculture products until 2004–05. Since then, exports of Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture products to Japan have declined and the pattern of Australian fisheries and aquaculture exports has shifted towards the Hong Kong, China and Vietnam region.


Trade Bursary Program 2019

FRDC is providing the opportunity for young industry leaders from the seafood industry to attend key seafood events around world. These include the Seafood Expo North America, Boston (17-19 March 2019), Global Seafood Exposition, Brussels (7-9 May 2019);  and China Fisheries & Seafood Expo, Qingdao (TBC November 2019).

Each bursary will be worth up to $7,000. Calls for applications will be made in the lead up to each event.

Find out more about the Trade Bursary Program and Apply

To apply, please click on the link to the Trade Bursary Application Form


Key Issues when Exporting from Australia

The Department of Agriculture controls exports of agricultural products. This assures our trading partners that Australian agricultural products meet import requirements.

Efficient regulation of exports is the cornerstone of Australia’s reputation as an excellent source of reliable agricultural exports. The department’s responsibilities and powers are defined in the Export Control Act 1982 and associated legislation. We recover the cost of providing export services through export fees and charges.

If you are involved in the export supply chain, you will need to be aware of:

  • your obligations under export legislation
  • specific importing country requirements that you need to meet
  • any additional export requirements set by us.

For information on exporting fish and fish products from Australia visit the Department of Agriculture website.

Manual of Importing Country Requirements

This website sets out the requirements that exporters and the Department of Agriculture must meet for products and commodities to be accepted for import into specific overseas countries. MICoR is updated when there is a change to an importing country's requirements.

Exporters and Department of Agriculture staff can use MICoR to find out importing country requirements. In addition to complying with importing country requirements, exporters must also comply with the requirements of the Export Control Act and associated Orders when exporting commodities from Australia. Visit Manual of importing country requirements (MICoR).

For more information on MICOR visit


Seafood Trade Advisory Group (STAG)

The Seafood Trade Advisory Group (STAG) was initially established by Abalone and Rock lobster exporters, in conjunction with the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, to advocate for the liberalisation and development of direct trade between Australia and China and address other trade and market related issues. The group now acts as a conduit between industry and government on Trade and Market access issues in relation to all major markets into which Australian wild caught Abalone and Lobster are exported and potential export markets.

For more information on STAG and their work program visit