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4607.0 - Fish Account, Australia, 1997  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/03/1999   
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Preface

This is one of a series of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publications reporting on estimates of Australia's naturally occurring resources. It presents a set of statistics for Australia's fisheries resources. It is part of a broader project being undertaken by the ABS on environmental accounts.

As explained in the publication, lack of appropriate data has limited the amount of fisheries information that can be presented in the form of environmental accounts. Statistics on fish stocks are not available but production data for fresh fish from a range of different sources have been brought together to provide an overall picture of Australian fish production. Data on the supply and use of fresh fish have been presented in the form of environmental accounts.

In Australia, environmental accounting is still a relatively new endeavour. Suggestions and comments on this ABS publication, or environmental accounting in general, would be greatly appreciated and should be sent to the Director, Environment and Energy Statistics Section, Australian Bureau of Statistics, PO Box 10, Belconnen, ACT, 2616.


INTRODUCTION

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Table 1.1 provides some information about the contribution of the commercial fishing industry to the Australian economy. This is significant in assessing the contribution of fish resources to our national income and economic wellbeing. Overall the industry is a small contributor to employment and to Gross Domestic Product, however the proportion of total exports is significantly greater than that of imports. Exports and imports include fresh and processed fish and seafood commodities. Employment statistics only include Subdivision 04, Commercial fishing, of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification.


TABLE 1.1 CONTRIBUTION OF COMMERCIAL FISHING INDUSTRY TO ECONOMIC INDICATORS

1990-91
1991-92
1992-93
1993-94
1994-95
1995-96
1996-97
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

GDP
0.219
0.232
0.220
0.187
0.186
0.174
0.163
Exports
1.585
1.782
1.796
1.925
2.039
1.747
1.653
Imports
0.982
0.997
0.888
0.921
0.903
0.873
0.888
Employment (Nov qtr)
0.002
0.002
0.002
0.002
0.002
0.002
0.001

Source: ABS, Unpublished data, Australian National Accounts, FASTTRACCS, Labour Force Survey.

AUSTRALIAN FISHERIES PRODUCTION

SUMMARY OF PRODUCTION

Fisheries production includes catch from the Commonwealth, State and Northern Territory managed fisheries, aquaculture production, and also catch from the recreational fishing sector. Total production from 1990-91 to 1996-97 is summarised in table 2.1.

Overall the States and the Northern Territory contributed approximately 64% of Australia's total production. Over this period Western Australia has consistently produced the greatest catch. In 1996-97 this was 45,120 tonnes, 28% of the State and Territory total. The Northern Territory had the smallest catch with about 2% of the State and Territory total in 1996-97. About 24% of total production was from Commonwealth managed fisheries. The contribution of recreational fishers (home production) was about 11% of the total. Total production declined steadily from 1991-92 (292,691 tonnes) to 1996-97 (255,873 tonnes). This was due mainly to substantial falls in production in Tasmanian and Commonwealth managed fisheries over this period.


TABLE 2.1 SUMMARY OF PRODUCTION

1990-91
1991-92
1992-93
1993-94
1994-95
1995-96
1996-97
t
t
t
t
t
t
t

State and Territory
New South Wales
27,889
28,298
30,566
31,543
29,442
27,627
26,059
Victoria
13,786
16,741
25,576
20,664
12,400
14,108
10,227
Queensland
28,021
24,898
28,392
29,466
32,249
33,852
31,041
South Australia
13,910
15,955
15,850
17,745
19,419
20,807
20,493
Western Australia
41,445
55,951
52,844
47,504
48,769
45,618
45,120
Tasmania
35,876
43,933
31,811
27,092
34,891
27,021
26,434
Northern Territory
2,753
2,753
2,580
3,391
2,901
3,886
3,723
Total
163,680
188,530
187,620
177,405
180,070
172,920
163,097
Commonwealth
86,064
73,018
63,633
64,683
59,280
58,272
62,577
Home
30,385
31,143
29,372
31,724
32,261
29,615
30,199
Total production
280,129
292,691
280,624
273,812
271,612
260,807
255,873


Source: ABARE 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997; ABS 1994; AFMA Logbook Database; Fisheries Division—Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries; Fisheries Victoria—Catch and Effort System; Fisheries Western Australia—Catch and Effort System; Lobegeiger 1998; New South Wales Fisheries Catch Database; O'Sullivan 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998; O'Sullivan and Kiley 1996, 1997; Queensland Fisheries Management Authority—Commercial Fisheries Information System; South Australian Research and Development Institute Production Figures; Southern Shark Fishery Monitoring Database; Tasmanian General Fishing Logbook; Tasmanian Rock Lobster Catch Record Logbook.

THE FLOW ACCOUNT

SUPPLY AND USE TABLES

The flow account presents supply and use tables for the fishing industry in quantity terms. Together these tables show the flow of fisheries resources from production to end use. As limited information was available on which to base these estimates a number of assumptions were made. Insufficient independent sources are available to verify these assumptions and the data are presented for illustrative purposes only. The main assumptions were:
  • The total supply of fresh fish and seafood in the domestic market is equal to total reported production, home production and imports of fresh whole product.
  • Sydney Fish Market sales to various buyer types reflect the national distribution of product domestically.
  • Species such as skipjack tuna and jack mackerel are directed entirely to processing industries.
  • All product sold by retailers is consumed by households.
  • All fish caught recreationally are consumed by households.

MAIN FINDINGS

  • Imports of fresh fish and seafood increased by 63% from 1992-93 to 1997-97. Molluscs and crustaceans accounted for most of the increase. Exports of fresh finfish rose 66%, with an overall increase in fresh exports of 44%.
  • Experimental estimates show household consumption accounted for more than 60% of Australia's production and imports of fresh fish and seafood from 1992-93 to 1996-97.
  • 10% of fresh fish was used by the 'Accommodation, cafes and restaurants' industry from 1992-93 to 1996-97.
  • In 1996-97, 19% of fresh fish was processed into 'other food products', 5% was exported and 2% used by 'other' industries.


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