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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2007  
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FISHING

PRODUCTION, PROCESSING, AND EXPORTS AND IMPORTS OF FISHERIES PRODUCTS

Production and value of fisheries

Australia's major species of commercial fisheries products are prawns, rock lobster, abalone, tuna, other finfish, scallops, edible oysters and pearl oysters. Australian fishing operators concentrate their efforts on estuarine and coastal species, and pelagic (surface) and demersal (bottom living) species that occur on the continental shelf.

Table 15.5 shows the quantity of production and table 15.6 the gross value of production of the Australian commercial fishing industry in 2004-05. The gross value of Australian fisheries production (including aquaculture) in 2004-05 decreased by 6% to $2.0b, the fourth consecutive decline. Most of the major species contributing to the total value of production showed significant falls during 2004-05 with the values of the tuna and prawn catches falling 38% and 15% respectively (table 15.7). The value of abalone harvested rose 17% mainly due to increased prices while the 85% rise in the value of scallops was due to increased take (a threefold increase in Western Australia) and price. In total quantity terms, Australian fisheries production increased by 5% during 2004-05 to 287,403 tonnes.

Australian fisheries production covers total production from both Commonwealth and state-managed fisheries, including aquaculture. Commonwealth fisheries accounted for 16% of the total gross value of Australian fisheries production in 2004-05 (table 15.6). Commonwealth fisheries are those managed on behalf of the Australian Government by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority. State and Northern Territory governments manage inland fisheries and aquaculture, in addition to those salt water fisheries not managed by the Australian (Commonwealth) Government. The distribution of the management of fisheries between the Australian Government and state governments is determined following consultations held under the Offshore Constitutional Settlement Agreement.


15.5 FISHERIES PRODUCTION, Quantity(a) - 2004-05

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
Cwlth
Aust.
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes

Finfish
Tuna
23
-
-
7,458
12
-
8
9,021
(b)11,306
Other
14,992
4,691
12,488
60,714
15,944
15,359
5,286
(c)52,084
181,558
Total
15,015
4,691
12,488
68,172
15,956
15,359
5,294
61,104
192,864
Crustaceans
Prawns
1,627
23
9,512
2,173
3,585
-
-
(d)6,650
23,570
Rock lobster
99
467
600
2,343
12,303
1,602
-
686
18,099
Crab
411
33
3,574
780
1,224
57
437
15
6,532
Other
105
19
129
62
158
1
26
215
715
Total
2,243
542
13,814
5,358
17,270
1,660
463
7,566
48,916
Molluscs
Abalone
186
1,615
-
1,079
304
2,709
-
-
5,893
Scallops
-
196
3,148
-
6,870
4,796
4
343
15,357
Oysters(e)
4,727
-
-
4,650
-
2,373
-
-
11,751
Other
1,478
1,401
232
2,477
895
925
97
2,718
10,224
Total
6,391
3,212
3,380
8,206
8,069
10,804
101
3,061
43,225
Other fisheries production
20
-
70
2,019
91
179
-
19
2,398
Total
23,670
8,445
29,752
83,755
41,386
28,002
5,858
(f)71,750
287,403

(a) Includes estimates of aquaculture production (except NT); excludes hatchery and inland commercial fishery production.
(b) Total has been adjusted so as not to double-count some southern bluefin tuna caught in the Commonwealth Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery which was used as input to aquaculture in SA.
(c) Includes the finfish component of Commonwealth Fisheries, plus catch from Commonwealth Fisheries that cannot be disaggregated due to confidentiality.
(d) Includes the Northern prawn, Torres Strait, South East and other fisheries.
(e) Excludes pearl oyster production (which only occurs in Qld, WA and NT).
(f) Total includes all fisheries under Commonwealth jurisdiction.
Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2005'.

15.6 FISHERIES PRODUCTION, Gross value(a) - 2004-05

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
Cwlth
Aust.
$’000
$’000
$’000
$’000
$’000
$’000
$’000
$’000
$’000

Finfish
Tuna
119
-
-
139,955
81
-
29
71,564
(b)172,479
Other
48,773
25,270
74,452
44,948
46,996
115,680
25,888
(c)150,275
532,283
Total
48,892
25,270
74,452
184,903
47,077
115,680
25,918
221,839
704,762
Crustaceans
Prawns
20,989
303
125,077
35,805
42,557
-
-
(d)79,741
304,473
Rock lobster
3,767
13,697
6,957
66,041
264,659
47,630
-
12,297
415,048
Crab
4,279
669
23,813
4,125
7,451
1,600
4,473
160
46,571
Other
1,431
219
1,747
1,111
2,915
7
213
4,268
11,911
Total
30,466
14,888
157,594
107,082
317,582
49,237
4,686
96,466
778,002
Molluscs
Abalone
7,825
64,635
-
39,139
12,650
105,397
-
-
229,645
Scallops
-
400
15,703
-
24,460
4,593
14
460
45,630
Oysters(e)
35,788
-
1,250
19,995
122,000
16,804
-
-
195,837
Other
6,740
3,831
1,161
6,750
15,065
3,656
897
3,785
41,885
Total
50,352
68,865
18,114
65,884
174,175
130,450
910
4,245
512,996
Other fisheries production
1,448
-
2,000
17,015
739
3,525
(f)27,800
399
52,926
Total
131,158
109,024
252,161
374,884
539,573
298,892
59,314
(g)322,950
2,048,686

(a) Includes estimates of the value of aquaculture production, but excludes the value of hatchery and inland commercial fishery production.
(b)Total has been adjusted so as not to double-count the value of some southern bluefin tuna caught in the Commonwealth Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery which was used as input to aquaculture in SA.
(c) Includes the finfish component of Commonwealth Fisheries, plus catch from Commonwealth Fisheries that cannot be disaggregated due to confidentiality.
(d) Includes the value of Northern prawn, Torres Strait, South East and other fisheries.
(e) Includes the value of pearl production in Qld and WA.
(f) Includes the value of pearl production in NT.
(g) Total includes the value of all fisheries under Commonwealth jurisdiction.
Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2005'.

15.7 SELECTED FISHERY PRODUCTS, Production and gross value(a)

2002-03
2003-04
2004-05



'000 t(b)
$m
'000 t(b)
$m
'000 t(b)
$m

Finfish
Tuna(c)
13.4
317.0
14.7
279.5
11.3
172.5
Other
151.7
561.0
164.7
554.0
181.6
532.3
Total
165.1
878.0
179.4
833.5
192.9
704.8
Crustaceans
Prawns
26.4
364.0
27.5
357.8
23.6
304.5
Rock lobster
17.1
460.7
19.7
406.9
18.1
415.0
Crab
7.0
51.0
7.3
53.7
6.5
46.6
Other
1.1
10.6
0.7
10.4
0.7
11.9
Total
51.6
886.2
55.2
828.4
48.9
778.0
Molluscs
Abalone
5.2
216.2
5.8
196.3
5.9
229.6
Scallops
9.6
34.6
9.3
24.6
15.4
45.6
Oysters(d)
10.5
62.1
12.7
77.2
11.8
73.3
Pearls(e)
n.a.
124.0
n.a.
122.3
n.a.
122.6
Other
9.9
42.1
11.0
45.3
10.2
42.4
Total
35.2
479.1
38.7
465.6
43.2
513.0
Other fisheries production(f)
1.7
41.2
1.2
41.3
2.4
52.9
Total
253.7
2,284.4
274.4
2,168.9
287.4
2,048.7

(a) Includes estimates for aquaculture; excludes hatchery and inland commercial fisheries.
(b) Excludes NT aquaculture.
(c) Total has been adjusted so as not to double-count the value of some southern bluefin tuna caught in the Commonwealth Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery which was used as input to aquaculture in SA.
(d) Excludes pearl oysters.
(e) Excludes the value of pearls in NT.
(f) Includes the value of pearls in NT.
Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2005'.


Processing of fish, crustaceans and molluscs

Processing establishments vary in size, scope of operations and sophistication of technologies employed. The majority of establishments undertake only the most basic cleaning, filleting, chilling, freezing and packaging processes, but some have the capacity for significant product transformation. Much of the value that is added to the catch is due to correct handling and quick delivery by air to local or overseas markets. Processing aims to maintain quality and freshness of export product by superior handling, cold storage and rapid transport to markets. This quality aspect is important in generating high values.

Exports and imports

Exports of fisheries products come under Australian Government jurisdiction, while domestic market activity is the responsibility of the states and territories.

A significant proportion of Australian fisheries production (edible and non-edible) is exported. In 2004-05 the total value of exports (including live fish) declined by 7% to $1.5b (table 15.8). However, Australia remained a net exporter of fisheries products with rock lobster the highest earning export, accounting for 29% of total value of exports of fisheries products. Exports of abalone, the second largest edible fisheries export product, rose 11% to $263 million (m) while prawns increased 2% to $163m. Tuna declined 40% to $162m. The highest value non-edible export earner, pearl, recorded a 6% fall to $291m in 2004-05. (For some fisheries categories, the value of exports exceeds the value of production because exports are valued on a free-on-board basis which includes the value of packaging and distribution services to the point of export.)

In 2004-05, Hong Kong continued as the major destination for Australian exports of fisheries products, accounting for 33% of the total value of exports of fisheries products. Japan - the number two destination - fell further behind with exports to that country now accounting for 29%, down two percentage points on the previous year.

Western Australia was the highest earning state from exports of edible seafood in 2004-05, with income of $362m accounting for 29% of the total value of Australia's seafood exports. Western Australia earned $296m (82%) of this income from exporting rock lobster, South Australia earned 48% of its income from fresh and frozen fish. Prawns earned Queensland 35% of its income from exports of edible seafood.

The total value of Australian imports of fisheries products in 2004-05 rose 6% to an estimated $1.2b (table 15.8). The major items of imports, in value terms, were prawns ($201m), canned fish ($189m) and fresh frozen fillets ($187m). The two main sources of imported fisheries products were Thailand ($238m) and New Zealand ($164m) which together accounted for more than a third of the value of imports. In the last two years, the value of imports of fisheries products from China has doubled to $90m while imports from Vietnam have increased 60% to $122m. Pearls were the leading non-edible import at $146m.


15.8 EXPORTS AND IMPORTS OF FISHERIES PRODUCTS(a), Gross value
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05



Exports
Imports
Exports
Imports
Exports
Imports
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

Fish
485.2
590.6
410.0
544.8
304.4
547.3
Tuna (whole)
319.6
123.5
271.7
109.8
162.5
107.7
Other fish (including canned and fillets)
165.6
467.0
138.3
435.0
141.9
439.6
Prawns
208.2
174.9
160.6
183.6
163.1
201.3
Rock lobster
463.1
11.1
426.8
7.1
439.6
8.1
Abalone
216.1
-
237.7
-
263.2
-
Scallops
28.7
24.2
34.9
22.0
32.6
27.5
Pearls(b)
332.0
162.9
310.4
145.1
291.0
145.9
Other fisheries products
111.1
238.2
71.5
203.8
47.9
241.9
Total
1,844.4
1,201.8
1,651.9
1,106.4
1,541.7
1,172.0

(a) Includes non-edible products (e.g. marine fats and oils, fishmeals, pearls and ornamental fish). Exports exclude sea products landed abroad directly from the high seas.
(b) Export data include items temporarily exported.
Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2005'.


FISHERIES RESOURCES

The Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) covers offshore waters between 3 to 200 nautical miles seaward of the territorial sea baseline of Australia and its external territories. This area of almost 9 million (mill.) square kilometres makes it an expanse 16% larger than the Australian land mass and the third largest fishing zone in the world. However, the catch is small by world standards as the waters of the AFZ lack nutrient-rich currents, causing low productivity.

Map 15.9 shows the status of Australia's Commonwealth-managed or jointly-managed fisheries resources in 2004. Brief definitions of the main status classifications can be seen below (or obtained in more detail from the Bureau of Rural Sciences, Fishery Status Reports 2004):

  • Overfished: stock biomass is below a prescribed level
  • Overfishing: fishing is exceeding a prescribed level.

While some species are considered to be overfished, there may be opportunities to further utilise some species such as albacore and southern whiting. While there are about 3,000 known species of fish, and at least as many species of crustaceans and molluscs inhabiting Australian waters, only about 600 species are fished commercially.

The level of fishing activity has increased over the last decade to the point where almost all the major well-known fish, crustacean and mollusc resources are fully used. Some major species such as southern bluefin tuna, eastern gemfish and school shark have suffered serious biological depletion.

15.9 STATUS OF COMMONWEALTH-MANAGED OR JOINTLY-MANAGED FISHERIES RESOURCES - 2004


15.9 STATUS OF COMMONWEALTH-MANAGED OR JOINTLY-MANAGED FISHERIES RESOURCES - 2004


Source: Bureau of Rural Sciences.

Aquaculture

Aquaculture is an alternative to harvesting the naturally occurring mature fish stocks. It involves the breeding and/or 'growing out' of aquatic organisms with intervention in the rearing process designed to enhance production e.g. regular stocking, feeding and protection from predators. It has potential as a means of reducing fishing pressure on wild capture fisheries. In 2004-05 the gross value of production of aquaculture was $611m (table 15.10), or 30% of the total value of fisheries production.

Aquaculture commenced in Australia in the late-1800s with the successful introduction of trout from the northern hemisphere and cultivation of the native Sydney rock oyster. The industry remained centred on these two species until the 1950s when the first cultured pearl farm was established in north-western Australia. A new wave of aquaculture development began in the 1980s with the beginning of the Atlantic salmon industry in Tasmania and commercial cultivation of native freshwater finfish, freshwater crayfish, prawns and Pacific oysters. The value of aquaculture production increased significantly in the 1990s based on increased production and processing of Pacific oysters, prawns, Atlantic salmon, pearls and southern bluefin tuna.

Aquacultural operations occur in diverse environmental areas including tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. The location of aquaculture is dependent on seasonal factors, the type of species being cultivated, the life-cycle stage of aquatic organisms and proximity to marine parks. The industry directly employs about 4,000 people, provides development opportunities in regional Australia and contributes to export growth.

There are many types of systems used in aquaculture employing a variety of management techniques. The main emphasis of the industry is on producing high value species in near-shore or land-based sites within the coastal zone. Systems can be open or closed depending on the water flow. Open systems allow water to move through the cages such as in open seas or flowing rivers. In closed systems, the water flow is contained as in a lake or an aquarium.

In 2004-05 the gross value of Australian aquaculture production fell 14% (table 15.10). Tuna remained the species contributing the most ($140m) to total gross value, followed by pearl oysters ($123m) and salmon ($112m).

In quantity terms, Australian aquacultural production for 2004-05 fell 4%. As in previous years, salmon was the major aquaculture product (14,405 tonnes), while edible oyster (11,751 tonnes) was the second most plentiful product.


15.10 AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION, Quantity and value(a)
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05



tonnes(b)
$m
tonnes(b)
$m
tonnes(b)
$m

Finfish
Salmon
13,603
106.1
14,828
115.7
14,405
112.4
Tuna
7,763
267.3
9,558
243.2
7,458
140.0
Trout
1,823
12.0
1,858
14.2
1,913
12.9
Other(c)
2,581
27.6
2,396
25.1
2,706
26.9
Total
25,770
413.0
28,640
398.2
26,482
292.1
Crustaceans
Prawns
3,365
56.1
3,723
57.8
3,234
49.9
Yabbies
121
1.7
114
1.6
120
1.9
Other(d)
443
2.7
159
2.8
177
3.5
Total
3,930
60.4
3,997
62.2
3,532
55.2
Molluscs
Pearl oysters
n.a.
124.0
n.a.
122.3
n.a.
122.6
Edible oysters
10,537
62.1
12,690
77.2
11,751
73.3
Other(e)
2,813
11.8
2,784
13.8
3,146
17.3
Total
13,349
197.9
15,474
213.4
14,897
213.2
Other fisheries production(f)
1,134
37.5
984
39.6
2,178
50.7
Total
44,183
708.9
49,096
713.4
47,089
611.1

(a) Excludes hatcheries production, crocodiles, microalgae and aquarium worms.
(b) Excludes NT.
(c) Includes eels, aquarium fish and other native fish.
(d) Includes marron and redclaw.
(e) Includes mussels, scallops, giant clams and abalone.
(f) Includes production of species unable to be assigned to a specific category, and value of NT pearls.
Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2005'.


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