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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
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Forestry and fishing

FISHING


PRODUCTION AND TRADE


Production and value of fisheries

Australia's major fishery products are salmonids (salmon and trout), rock lobster, prawns, abalone, tuna, pearls and oysters. Australian fishing operators concentrate their efforts on estuarine and coastal species, and pelagic (water column-living) and demersal (bottom-living) species that occur on the continental shelf.

Table 17.11 shows the quantity of production and table 17.12 the gross value of production of the Australian commercial fishing industry (including aquaculture) in 2009–10.

In quantity terms, Australian fisheries production increased by 2% during 2009–10 to 241,100 tonnes, with finfish (other than tuna), prawns, oysters, tuna and rock lobster the major contributors to the total. However, the gross value of production fell slightly to $2.2 billion, with falls in the value of tuna ($62m) and rock lobster ($46m), and rises in finfish (other than tuna) ($41m) and prawns ($34m) (table 17.13).


17.11 FISHERIES PRODUCTION, Quantity(a)2009–10

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

Finfish
Tuna
7 284
4
6
7 593
10 957(b)
Salmonids(c)
150
815
na
na
30 950
31 915
Other
11 494
3 386
14 335
44 697
10 445
1 820
5 573
27 986(d)
119 736
Total
11 644
4 201
14 335
51 981
10 449
32 769
5 579
35 579
162 607
Crustaceans
Prawns
1 266
130
12 268
2 669
2 790
7 911(e)
27 034
Rock lobster
122
274
159
1 554
5 947
1 302
270
9 628
Crab
299
18
2 917
663
1 238
44
na
6
5 185
Other
66
39
616
42
103
112
978
Total
1 752
461
15 960
4 928
10 078
1 347
8 299
42 825
Molluscs
Abalone
73
882
1 142
271
2 613
4 981
Scallops
2 920
na
2 525
2 094
7 539
Oysters(f)
4 960
na
6 123
na
3 724
na
14 807
Other
540
690
141
2 246
769
1 283
21
652
6 342
Total
5 573
1 572
3 061
9 511
3 565
7 620
21
2 746
33 670
Other fisheries production
168
256
1 319
171
101
6
2 021
Total
19 138
6 490
33 356
67 739
24 263
41 837
5 600
46 630(g)
241 123(b)

nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available
(a) Includes estimates of aquaculture production (except NT), but 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 salmon and trout production.
(d) Includes the finfish component of Commonwealth Fisheries, plus catch from Commonwealth Fisheries that cannot be disaggregated due to confidentiality.
(e) Includes the Northern prawn, Torres Strait, South East and other fisheries.
(f) Excludes pearl oyster production (which only occurs in Qld, WA and NT).
(g) Totals include all fisheries under federal jurisdiction.

Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010.


Australian fisheries production covers total production from fisheries (including aquaculture) managed by the Australian, state and territory governments, 'Commonwealth fisheries' are those managed by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority on behalf of the Australian Government. They accounted for 15% of the total gross value of Australian fisheries production in 2009–10. State and Northern Territory governments manage inland fisheries and aquaculture, in addition to those salt water fisheries not managed by the Australian government, as described in Offshore Constitutional Settlement Arrangements.


17.12 FISHERIES PRODUCTION, Gross value(a)2009–10

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

Finfish
Tuna
102 175
32
na
37
58 430
125 299(b)
Salmonids(c)
1 602
5 102
na
na
362 422
369 126
Other
49 924
11 659
107 555
73 692
36 682
4 920
27 506
149 014(d)
460 951
Total
51 526
16 761
107 555
175 867
36 714
367 342
27 542
207444
955 376
Crustaceans
Prawns
16 004
904
155 860
31 142
27 940
92 242(e)
324 092
Rock lobster
6753
14 422
5 850
85 834
184 101
65 219
6 660
368 839
Crab
3 977
721
28 570
4 804
6 897
1 903
9 262
59
56 193
Other
1 099
314
12 463
898
2 295
2 271
19 340
Total
27 832
16 361
202 743
122 678
221 233
67 122
9 262
101 232
768 464
Molluscs
Abalone
1 904
21 919
38 445
9 227
102 132
173 628
Scallops
4
10 250
na
9 141
6 407
25 801
Oysters
43 000
520
35 027
21 264
99 811
Pearls
na
85 500
18 980
104 480
Other
4 038
3 069
710
12 086
4 718
5 192
206
1 638
31 657
Total
48 946
24 988
11 480
85 558
108 586
128 588
19 186
8 045
435 376
Other fisheries production
4 597
1 940
10 260
1 188
768
730
16
19 499
Total
132 902
58 110
323 718
394 363
367 721
563 819
56 721
316 737(f)
2 178 716(b)

– nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available
(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 salmon and trout production.
(d) Includes the finfish component of Commonwealth Fisheries, plus catch from Commonwealth Fisheries that cannot be disaggregated due to confidentiality.
(e) Includes the value of Northern prawn, Torres Strait, South East and other fisheries.
(f) Totals include all fisheries under federal jurisdiction.

Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010.


Table 17.13 shows the quantity produced and gross value of fishery production in the years 2007–08 to 2009–10.


17.13 FISHERIES PRODUCTION, Quantity and gross value(a)

2007–08
2008–09
2009–10



'000 t
$m
'000 t
$m
'000 t
$m

Finfish
Tuna
14.7
210.0
13.7
187.1
11.0
125.3
Other
144.0
733.6
145.8
789.5
151.7
830.1
Total
158.7
943.6
159.5
976.6
162.6
955.4
Crustaceans
Prawns
22.8
272.3
24.2
290.0
27.0
324.1
Rock lobster
14.3
426.0
12.2
414.8
9.6
368.8
Crab
6.0
56.3
5.3
57.8
5.2
56.2
Other
0.4
7.1
0.4
8.2
1.0
19.3
Total
43.5
761.8
42.1
770.8
42.8
768.5
Molluscs
Abalone
5.3
188.8
5.6
188.5
5.0
173.6
Scallops
10.3
33.0
7.6
26.2
7.5
25.8
Oysters
13.5
89.1
14.2
93.0
14.8
99.8
Pearls
na
114.3(b)
na
90.0(b)
na
104.5
Other
6.8
29.9
6.6
32.1
6.3
31.7
Total
36.0
455.1
34.0
429.8
33.7
435.4
Other fisheries production
2.3
46.6(c)
1.9
36.8(c)
2.0
19.5
Total
240.5
2 207.1
237.5
2 214.1
241.1
2 178.7

na not available
(a) Includes estimates for aquaculture; excludes hatchery and inland commercial fisheries.
(b) Excludes the value of NT pearl production.
(c) Includes the value of NT pearl production.

Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010.


Aquaculture

Aquaculture is a rapidly growing primary industry in Australia, and is an alternative to harvesting the naturally occurring wild fish stocks of aquatic organisms, such as fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Aquaculture operations may involve the farming of captive-bred stock or the ‘grow-out’ of ‘naturally occurring’ larvae and juveniles of wild caught stocks. In all cases, it involves intervention in the rearing process designed to enhance production, through activities such as regular stocking, feeding and protection from predators. Unlike wild-caught fisheries in which fishers access and harvest a common resource, farming implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated, which provides operators with greater control over their operations. In 2009–10, the gross value of production of Australian aquaculture increased slightly to $870 million, or 40% of the total value of fisheries production (table 17.14).

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.

Aquaculture operations occur in diverse environments including tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. The location of aquaculture is dependent on seasonal factors, the type of species being cultivated and the life cycle stage of aquatic organisms. More than one-third of people employed in the Fishing, hunting and trapping industry are employed in aquaculture, which provides development opportunities in regional Australia and contributes to export income.

In quantity terms, Australian aquacultural production for 2009–10 increased 5% over the previous year. Salmon, with 31,915 tonnes, remained the major aquaculture product in 2009–10, while edible oysters (14,804 tonnes) was the second most plentiful product. In value terms, salmon ($369m) continued as the species contributing the most to total gross value of Australian aquaculture, with pearl oysters ($105m) ranking second. Tuna production and edible oysters followed, with $102 million and $100 million respectively.


17.14 AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION, Quantity and gross value(a)

2007–08
2008–09
2009–10



tonnes
$m
tonnes
$m
tonnes
$m

Finfish
Salmon(b)
25 867
302.3
30 036
326.1
31 915
369.1
Tuna
9 757
186.7
8 786
157.8
7 284
102.2
Other(c)
5 906
58.3
7 282
72.2
8 396
72.7
Total
41 530
547.3
46 103
556.1
47 595
544.0
Crustaceans
Prawns
3 088
44.2
3 985
56.8
5 381
77.5
Yabbies
84
1.4
60
1.0
51
0.9
Other(d)
140
3.2
144
3.2
132
3.0
Total
3 312
48.7
4 189
61.0
5 564
81.4
Molluscs
Pearl oysters
na
114.3(e)
na
90.0(e)
na
104.5
Edible oysters
13 536
89.1
14 227
92.9
14 804
99.8
Other(f)
3 762
25.3
4 022
31.9
3 918
25.5
Total
17 298
228.8
18 250
214.8
18 723
229.8
Other fisheries production(g)
1 892
44.4(h)
1 550
34.7(h)
1 660
15.2
Total
64 032
869.3
70 092
866.6
73 542
870.4

na not available
(a) Excludes hatcheries production, crocodiles, microalgae and aquarium worms.
(b) Includes trout production.
(c) Includes silver perch, barramundi, eels, aquarium fish and other native fish.
(d) Includes marron and redclaw.
(e) Excludes the value of NT pearl production.
(f) Includes mussels, scallops, giant clams and abalone.
(g) Includes production of species unable to be assigned to a specific category because of confidentiality restrictions.
(h) Includes value of NT pearl production.

Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010.


Processing of fish, crustaceans and molluscs

Processing establishments vary in size, scope of operations and sophistication of technologies employed. The majority of establishments undertake relatively basic cleaning, filleting, chilling, freezing and packaging processes, although 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 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.


Trade

Exports of fisheries products come under Australian Government jurisdiction, while domestic market activity is the responsibility of the state and territory governments.

A significant proportion of Australian fisheries production – edible and non-edible – is exported. However, in 2009–10, the total value of exports (including live fish) fell by 18% to $1.2 billion (table 17.15), leaving Australia as a net importer of fisheries products by value, for the third year in a row. Although the value of rock lobster exports fell 13% in 2009–10, it was still the highest earning fisheries export, accounting for 32% of total value of exports of fisheries products. Abalone exports rose 4% and remained the second most valuable single edible fisheries export product.

Exports of the highest value non-edible earner, pearls, slipped back 33% to $244 million in 2009–10 after a big increase the previous year.

In 2009–10, Hong Kong (SAR of China) continued as the major destination for Australian exports of fisheries products, taking $629 million worth of product (excluding live) and accounting for 52% of the total value of Australian fisheries exports (excluding live). Japan was the number two destination, accounting for 29%, with a value of $353 million. The United States of America and China (excludes SARs and Taiwan) followed, with $64 million and $44 million respectively.

Western Australia was the highest earning state or territory from exports of seafood in 2009–10, with income of $267 million, accounting for 27% of the total value of Australia's seafood exports. The state earned $225 million (84%) of this income from exporting rock lobster. South Australia had the next highest earnings from seafood exports with $258 million, 46% earned from exports of fresh or frozen fish ($119m). Abalone earned Tasmania 57% of its total seafood export income of $183 million.

The total value of Australian imports of fisheries products in 2009–10 fell 11% to $1.5 billion. The major items of imports, in value terms, were fish ($752m), pearls ($171m) and prawns ($159m). The two main source countries for imported fisheries products were Thailand ($323m) and New Zealand ($220m) which together accounted for 36% of the value of imports.


17.15 EXPORTS AND IMPORTS OF FISHERIES PRODUCTS(a)(b)

2007–08
2008–09
2009–10



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

Fish
324.8
715.0
334.0
824.6
258.4
751.5
Tuna (whole)
202.3
1.6
175.5
1.1
117.0
1.2
Other fish (including canned and fillets)
122.5
713.4
158.5
823.5
141.4
750.3
Prawns
68.6
166.6
82.2
135.0
61.5
159.2
Rock lobster
400.9
14.1
461.7
9.2
399.7
11.2
Abalone
217.2
208.2
216.4
Scallops
27.8
28.1
33.3
29.9
29.5
33.5
Pearls(c)
264.0
166.4
366.4
320.6
243.9
170.8
Other fisheries products
38.3
307.7
43.6
390.5
37.4
388.5
Total
1 341.7
1 397.9
1 529.4
1 709.8
1 246.7
1 514.7

– nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(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) 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.
(c) Export data include items temporarily exported.

Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010.


FISHERIES RESOURCES

The Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) covers an area of almost 9 million square kilometres. This amounts to an expanse 16% larger than the Australian land mass and is the third largest fishing zone in the world. Despite the size of the AFZ, the Australian fisheries catch is small by world standards, as the waters of the AFZ tend to be relatively poor in nutrients and therefore not highly productive.

The Fishery status reports provide an independent review of the biological status of fish stocks and the economic status of fisheries managed, or jointly managed, by the Australian Government. They provide an assessment of whether or not stocks are overfished (i.e. their stock biomass is below a prescribed level) or subject to overfishing (the rate of mortality due to fishing exceeds a prescribed level).

The Fishery status reports of 2009, produced by the (then) Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics – Bureau of Rural Sciences (ABARE–BRS), provide assessment information for 101 species or groups of species (hereafter referred to as ‘stocks’) in fisheries for which the Australian Government has management responsibility. The Fishery status reports also provide economic information on Commonwealth fisheries. These fisheries may be managed solely by the Australian Government, through the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) or through joint authorities with state or territory governments, bilateral international agreements or broader regional or global international management entities.

Map 17.16 shows the status of 101 fish species (or groups of species) in Australia's Commonwealth-managed or jointly-managed fisheries in 2009.



17.16 STATUS OF COMMONWEALTH–MANAGED OR JOINTLY–MANAGED FISHERIES RESOURCES—2009



Of the 101 stocks assessed in 2009, 59 were classified as not overfished, 12 as overfished and the status of the remaining 30 species was uncertain. In terms of the overfishing status, 73 were classified as not subject to overfishing and 10 were classified as subject to overfishing. A further 18 stocks were classified as uncertain if subject to overfishing. Of the 101 assessed stocks, 56 were classified as being both not overfished and not subject to overfishing, while seven stocks were classified as both overfished and subject to overfishing.

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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