Global Agriculture

Aquaculture’s contribution to Australian seafood supply continues to grow

06 March 2024, Australia: The gross value of Australian fisheries and aquaculture production is forecast to grow by 0.5% in 2023−24 to $3.56 billion according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

ABARES Executive Director Dr Jared Greenville said that growth in 2023−24 is predominantly driven by higher prices of wild-caught rock lobster and higher production volumes for various aquaculture species, including tuna, abalone and oysters.

“The value of aquaculture is projected to increase by 5% in real terms to $2.21 billion by 2028–29 which will see it represent 64% of total seafood sector production value,” Dr Greenville said.

“Prices for salmonids, prawns, abalone and tuna are all expected to ease over this period but higher production volumes, servicing predominantly domestic consumers, will support further growth of the aquaculture sector.”

The story for fisheries and aquaculture exports remains subdued, with export value expected to decrease by 2% to $1.43 billion in 2023−24.

Dr Greenville said that declining competitiveness of Australian seafood exports over the medium term is expected to see export value continue to fall, by around 2% a year to $1.23 billion in real terms by 2028–29.

“Conditions remain challenging and uncertain for Australian seafood exports. Not only are we seeing price falls, but climate change remains a significant uncertainty for the outlook because of the potential long-term impacts on global seafood production and trade.”

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