Forestry and fishing outlines the main features of two important primary industries in Australia, forestry and commercial fishing. Some information on recreational fishing is also provided.
The forests and wood products industries, based on native and plantation forests, employed over 78,000 people, with total income from sales and services for the Wood and paper product manufacturing industries alone amounting to $15.1b in 2000-01. The value of exports and imports of forest products is substantial at about $2.0b and $3.7b respectively in 2001-02, making Australia a net importer of forest products.
Australia's fisheries resources are diverse. Over 3,000 species of marine and freshwater fish, and at least an equal number of crustacean and mollusc species, occur in waters in and around Australia. Less than 600 of these are commercially fished. However, almost all the major known fish, crustacean and mollusc resources are fully fished. Aquaculture, or 'fish farming', is an alternative to harvesting the naturally occurring fish stocks and has considerable potential as a way to ensure the sustainability of harvesting yields.
The gross value of Australian fisheries production, at the point of landing, was about $2.4b in 2001-02, of which aquaculture accounted for 30%. The value of exports (which includes marketing and transport costs) and imports (including insurance and freight costs) of fisheries products stood at $2.1b and $1.2b respectively in 2001-02, making Australia a net exporter of these products.
Forestry and fishing concludes with an article Indigenous fishing activity in northern Australian waters.