2008/735 Trade issues affecting the Australian seafood industry
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2008/735 Trade issues affecting the Australian seafood industry

Andrew Stoler and Victoria Donaldson



Over the past thirty years, international trade in fish and fisheries products has grown significantly and today over 50 percent of the value of fisheries production and about 40 percent of the live weight equivalent of fish and fish products enter international trade. Around the world, some 200 million people are employed in the fisheries sector – mostly in developing countries. At the same time, all but four of the world’s key fishing regions (about 75 percent of the world’s fish stocks) is harvested at or beyond the regions’ sustainable limits.


The Australian seafood sector now achieves gross production worth in excess of AUD$ 2 billion per annum, generates exports worth in excess of AUD$ 1.5 billion, and employs significant numbers of Australians in rural and regional areas of the country. The sector has the potential to be a much bigger contributor to exports, employment and national wealth provided that Governments in Australia are undertake to work more effectively wit the seafood industry to reduce or eliminate overseas barriers to Australian seafood exports, develop new ways to produce and harvest seafood at home and take steps to ensure that high quality Australian seafood production can be sustainably maintained over time.