Soaring seafood consumption fails to deliver significant growth for Australia’s fishing and aquaculture industries

Cooked salmon on platter of vegetablesAustralia’s love of seafood is tipped to continue, with business information analysts at IBISWorld forecasting overall seafood consumption to rise by 3.7%, from 19.0 kilograms per capita in 2015-16 to 19.7 kilograms per capita by 2021. However, subdued growth is anticipated for the nation’s fishing and aquaculture industries, with revenue forecast to grow at an annualised 0.9% and 2.7%, respectively, between 2015-16 and 2020-21.

Ongoing increases in disposable income and health consciousness, coupled with rising awareness about the health benefits of certain types of fish and seafood, particularly salmon, is continuing to drive overall fish and seafood consumption. However, industry challenges are expected to dampen revenue growth.

Fishing in Australia – IBISWorld Industry Report A0410

Ongoing fish stock depletion, increasing competition from imports and seafood farming, rising operating costs, and stricter regulation of catch quotas have hurt industry revenue. In 2015-16, IBISWorld forecasts industry revenue to reach $1.46 billion, with revenue set to reach $1.52 billion in 2020-21.

Rock lobsters are the largest contributor to industry revenue, accounting for 32.6%, followed by fish at 32.4%, crustaceans including prawns, crabs and crayfish at 20.1%, and molluscs including abalone, octopus, scallops and squid at 14.9%.

Fish caught by industry operators account for the largest share of production at more than 70% by tonnage. However, increasing competition from Australia’s Aquaculture industry, particularly in providing popular fish products such as salmon and trout, has resulted in the fish segment decreasing as a share of revenue over the past five years. Sardines are the largest contributor to the industry’s fish production volumes, followed by tuna, shark and flathead.

Aquaculture in Australia – IBISWorld Industry Report A0200

Aquaculture is one of Australia’s most lucrative primary industries, largely due to its emergence as the most viable way to maintain seafood production in the face of ongoing declines in national and global fishing stocks. Industry revenue is forecast to grow at an annualised 2.7% over the coming five years, from $1.2 billion in 2015-16 to $1.3 billion by 2020-21. However, rising industry operation costs – including fuel and wage expenses – have affected industry profit margins.

Australia’s aquaculture industry accounts for just under 35% of all fishery production in Australia and approximately 45% of total fishery value, with production increasing at an annualised 4.1% over the past five years. This growth emphasises the role that aquaculture has played in creating a more sustainable fishing sector in Australia by supplementing declining volumes of seafood caught in the wild.

The industry also benefits from maintaining a more consistent supply of popular species, such as salmon, due to controlled farming environments. Salmon and trout account for nearly 50% of industry revenue, followed by tuna, edible oysters, pearl oysters, crustaceans, and other fish and molluscs.

If you would like to interview an IBISWorld senior industry analyst to discuss Australia’s fishing and aquaculture industries or would like further information, please do not hesitate to be in contact.

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IBISWorld reports used to develop this release:

A0140 Fishing in Australia

A0200 Aquaculture



For more information, to obtain industry reports or to speak with an analyst please contact:
Anne Wild / Shae Courtney
IBISWorld Media Relations Representatives – Anne Wild & Associates Pty Ltd
Tel: (02) 9440 0414
Mobile: 0420 736 136

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