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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
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FISHING

PRODUCTION, PROCESSING, AND EXPORTS AND IMPORTS OF FISHERIES PRODUCTS

Value of fisheries production

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 15.4 shows the quantity of production and table 15.6 the gross value of production of the Australian commercial fishing industry in 2003-04. The gross value of Australian fisheries production (including aquaculture) in 2003-04 decreased by 5% to $2.2b, the third consecutive decline (table 15.8). A number of the major species contributing to the total value of production showed significant falls during 2003-04. While the value of prawns, other finfish and pearls remained virtually unchanged, the value of oysters and crabs increased (table 15.9). In quantity terms, Australian fisheries production increased by 5% during the year to 266,613 tonnes, with the catch of finfish other than tuna (up 8%) being the most significant contributor (table 15.7).

Australian fisheries production covers total production from both Commonwealth and state managed fisheries, including aquaculture. Commonwealth fisheries accounted for 15% of the total gross value of Australian fisheries production in 2003-04 (table 15.5). 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 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) - 2003-04

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

Finfish
Tuna
24
-
-
9,290
15
-
8
10,084
(c)14,418
Other
14,405
4,284
15,102
36,818
17,260
15,554
5,264
(d)54,551
163,238
Total
14,429
4,284
15,102
46,108
17,275
15,554
5,272
64,635
177,656
Crustaceans
Prawns
2,001
56
11,450
2,126
3,689
-
-
(e)7,783
27,106
Rock lobster
108
496
535
2,400
13,742
1,601
-
839
19,721
Crab
633
11
4,229
707
1,122
64
437
20
7,223
Other
114
46
105
49
108
-
-
79
501
Total
2,857
609
16,319
5,282
18,661
1,665
437
8,721
54,552
Molluscs
Abalone
252
1,562
-
982
351
2,645
-
-
5,792
Scallops
-
261
1,999
-
2,287
3,542
-
1,118
9,207
Oysters(f)
-
-
-
4,382
-
3,243
-
-
7,625
Other
1,672
1,357
195
2,224
1,783
490
87
2,813
10,622
Total
1,924
3,180
2,194
7,588
4,421
9,920
87
3,931
33,245
Other fisheries production
16
-
73
894
87
75
-
15
1,160
Total
19,226
8,073
33,688
59,872
40,444
27,214
5,796
(b)77,437
266,613

(a) Includes estimates of aquaculture production (except NT); excludes hatchery and inland commercial fishery production.
(b) Total includes all fisheries under federal jurisdiction.
(c) 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.
(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 in Qld and WA and edible oysters in NSW.

Source: ABARE 2005a, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2004'.


15.6 FISHERIES PRODUCTION, Gross value(a) - 2003-04

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

Finfish
Tuna
83
-
-
242,000
93
-
29
72,296
(b)276,148
Other
44,660
25,528
93,937
38,828
47,205
118,476
25,789
(c)155,874
550,296
Total
44,743
25,528
93,937
280,828
47,298
118,476
25,818
228,170
826,444
Crustaceans
Prawns
27,737
730
150,107
43,423
44,782
-
-
(d)88,093
354,872
Rock lobster
4,196
13,730
6,230
61,365
261,398
44,921
-
13,725
405,565
Crab
6,005
241
29,729
4,020
7,153
1,643
4,473
91
53,354
Other
1,547
324
1,361
905
1,817
-
-
1,525
7,479
Total
39,485
15,025
187,427
109,713
315,150
46,564
4,473
103,433
821,270
Molluscs
Abalone
8,668
49,927
-
34,663
14,209
88,655
-
-
196,122
Scallops
-
395
9,954
-
7,685
4,014
-
1,528
23,577
Oysters
37,921
-
750
21,152
(e)150,000
11,998
-
-
221,822
Other
6,825
4,502
974
6,402
18,057
2,161
848
4,195
43,963
Total
53,414
54,824
11,679
62,217
189,951
106,828
848
5,724
485,484
Other fisheries production
1,718
-
1,701
7,534
801
6,513
(f)28,000
123
46,391
Total
139,360
95,377
294,743
460,292
553,200
278,381
59,139
(g)337,449
2,179,589

(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) Value of pearl production.
(f) Includes value of NT pearl production.
(g) Total includes the value of all fisheries under Commonwealth jurisdiction.

Source: ABARE 2005a, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2004'.


15.7 FISHERIES PRODUCTION, Quantity(a)

2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes

Finfish
Tuna
15,891
14,729
14,418
Other
137,315
150,836
163,238
Total
153,206
165,566
177,656
Crustaceans
Prawns
29,419
26,252
27,106
Rock lobster
14,322
17,069
19,721
Crab
7,229
6,886
7,223
Other
919
1,083
501
Total
51,890
51,289
54,552
Molluscs
Abalone
5,856
5,177
5,792
Scallops
5,607
8,401
9,207
Oysters
10,236
11,433
7,625
Other
8,739
9,398
10,622
Total
30,438
34,409
33,245
Other fisheries production
1,611
1,710
1,160
Total
237,144
252,974
266,613

(a) Includes estimates of aquaculture production (except in NT); excludes production of pearl oysters in Qld and WA and edible oysters in NSW, and hatchery and inland commercial fishery production.

Source: ABARE 2005a, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2004'.


15.8 FISHERIES PRODUCTION, Gross value(a)

$m

1982-83
423
1987-88
828
1992-93
1,493
1997-98
1,883
1998-99
2,106
1999-2000
2,344
2000-01
2,439
2001-02
2,430
2002-03
2,305
2003-04
2,180

(a) Includes estimates of the value of pearl oyster production and aquaculture production, but excludes the value of hatchery and inland commercial fishery production.

Source: ABARE 2005a, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2004'.


15.9 SELECTED FISHERY PRODUCTS, Gross value(a)

2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
$m
$m
$m

Prawns
429
360
355
Rock lobster
502
460
406
Crab
54
50
53
Tuna
323
317
276
Other finfish
546
560
550
Abalone
247
216
196
Scallops
23
33
24
Oysters
57
62
72
Pearls(b)
175
150
150
Other n.e.i.(c)
74
98
98
Total
2,430
2,305
2,180

(a) Includes estimates of the value of aquaculture production, but excludes the value of hatchery and inland commercial fishery production.
(b) Excludes NT.
(c) Includes the value of pearl oysters and aquaculture for NT.

Source: ABARE 2005a, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2004'.


Processing of fish, crustaceans and mulluscs

In Australia very little processing of fish products is undertaken which adds value to the product. 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.

Exports and imports

Exports of fisheries products come under Commonwealth 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 2003-04 the total value of exports (including live fish) declined by 10% to $1.6b (table 15.10). However, Australia still remained a net exporter of fisheries product. Australia's highest earning fisheries export product is rock lobster, which accounted for 26% of total value of exports of fisheries products in 2003-04. Exports of rock lobster fell by 8% to $427 million (m) in 2003-04, continuing its decline of the previous three years. Exports of tuna, the second largest edible fisheries export product, declined 15% to $272m while the next highest edible fisheries export product, abalone, increased by 10% to $238m. The highest value non-edible export earner, pearl, recorded a 7% fall to $310m in 2003-04. (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 2003-04, Hong Kong overtook Japan as the major destination for Australian exports of fisheries products, accounting for 34% of total exports of fisheries products. This turn-around was due to the value of exports to Hong Kong rising 27% and the value of exports to Japan falling 20%. Value of shipments to the next four largest markets also fell, by a total of $70m or (4%).

South Australia remained the highest earning state from edible seafood exports in 2003-04, with income of $400m accounting for 30% of the total value of Australia's seafood exports of $1.3b. South Australia earned $244m (61%) of this income from exporting whole fresh, chilled or frozen fish. Western Australia earned $370m (28%), most of which (79%) came from sales of rock lobster worth $293m. Prawns earned Queensland $81m (35%) out of a total $232m worth of seafood exported from that state.

15.10 EXPORTS OF FISHERIES PRODUCTS(a)

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

Country of destination
$m
%
$m
%
$m
%

Hong Kong (SAR of China)
469
22.8
433
24.1
552
34.2
Japan
698
34.0
656
36.5
526
32.6
United States of America
172
8.4
199
11.1
155
9.6
Taiwan
147
7.1
93
5.2
76
4.7
China (excl. SARs & Taiwan Prov.)
73
3.6
74
4.1
70
4.4
Singapore
65
3.2
50
2.8
41
2.5
Spain
19
0.9
20
1.1
25
1.6
New Zealand
32
1.6
28
1.5
23
1.4
France
13
0.6
18
1.0
17
1.1
Greece
3
0.1
10
0.6
16
1.0
United Kingdom
8
0.4
7
0.4
12
0.7
Germany
8
0.4
6
0.3
10
0.6
Other
346
16.9
204
11.3
90
5.6
Total
2,053
100.0
1,797
100.0
1,613
100.0

(a) Includes non-edible products (e.g. marine fats and oils, fishmeal, pearls and ornamental fish). Excludes sea products landed abroad directly from the high seas.

Source: ABS data available on request, International Trade Special Data Service.


The total value of Australian imports of fisheries products in 2003-04 declined 8% to an estimated $1.1b (table 15.10). The major items of imports, in value terms, were frozen fish fillets ($194m), prawns ($184m) and canned fish ($179m). The two main sources of imported fisheries products were Thailand and New Zealand which together accounted for more than a third of the value of imports. Pearls were again the leading non-edible import at $145m down 11% from the previous year.

15.11 IMPORTS OF FISHERIES PRODUCTS(a)

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

Country of source
$m
%
$m
%
$m
%

Thailand
236
19.7
242
20.2
222
20.1
New Zealand
177
14.7
194
16.2
180
16.3
Vietnam
48
4.0
76
6.3
85
7.7
China (excl. SARs & Taiwan Prov.)
32
2.7
44
3.7
69
6.2
India
42
3.5
42
3.5
38
3.4
United States of America
61
5.1
52
4.3
34
3.1
South Africa
39
3.2
38
3.1
34
3.1
Indonesia
40
3.3
50
4.2
31
2.9
Malaysia
37
3.1
30
2.5
27
2.4
Taiwan
24
2.0
22
1.8
22
2.0
Canada
21
1.8
24
2.0
20
1.8
Japan
43
3.6
24
2.0
17
1.5
Other
400
33.3
363
30.2
326
29.5
Total
1,200
100.0
1,202
100.0
1,106
100.0

(a) Includes non-edible products (e.g. marine fats and oils, fishmeal, pearls and ornamental fish).

Source: ABS data available on request, International Trade Special Data Service.


FISHERIES RESOURCES

The Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) covers offshore waters between 3 and 200 nautical miles seaward of the territorial sea baseline of Australia and its external territories. This area of 8.9 million 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 15.12 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 mollusc 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 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.

15.12 STATUS OF COMMONWEALTH MANAGED OR JOINTLY MANAGED FISHERIES RESOURCES - 2004
Map 15.12: 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.

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 5,100 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 - only about 10% of total production value is from freshwater species. 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 2003-04 the gross value of Australian aquaculture production declined marginally to $732m (table 15.13). Tuna remained the species contributing the most ($242m) to total gross value, followed by pearl oysters ($150m) and salmon ($116m).

15.13 AQUACULTURAL PRODUCTION, Gross value(a)

2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
$m
$m
$m

Finfish
Salmon
112.1
106.1
115.7
Tuna
260.5
266.9
242.0
Trout
12.9
12.6
12.9
Other(b)
20.2
27.5
23.7
Total
405.7
413.2
394.3
Crustaceans
Prawn
65.4
56.1
55.9
Yabbies
2.1
1.7
1.0
Other(c)
2.4
2.8
2.6
Total
69.9
60.4
59.5
Molluscs
Pearl oysters(d)
175.1
150.0
150.0
Edible oysters
56.9
62.1
71.8
Other(e)
9.6
11.3
13.8
Total
241.7
223.4
235.7
Other fisheries production(f)
13.9
37.5
42.3
Total
731.2
734.5
731.8

(a) Excludes hatcheries production, crocodiles, microalgae and aquarium worms.
(b) Includes eels, aquarium fish and other native fish.
(c) Includes marron and redclaw.
(d) Excludes production in the NT.
(e) Includes mussels, scallops, giant clams and abalone.
(f) Includes all NT; includes value of species unable to be assigned to a specific category.

Source: ABARE 2005a, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2004'.


Table 15.14 shows the quantity of Australian aquacultural production for the three years 2001-02 to 2003-04, with the latest year showing a 5% decrease in total production. As in previous years, salmon was the major aquaculture product (14,828 tonnes) in 2003-04, while tuna (9,290 tonnes) surpassed edible oyster (7,625 tonnes) as the second most plentiful product.

15.14 AQUACULTURAL PRODUCTION, Quantity(a)

2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes

Finfish
Salmon
14,356
13,603
14,828
Tuna
9,245
9,102
9,290
Trout
1,864
1,811
1,850
Other(b)
1,804
2,579
2,332
Total
27,269
27,095
28,301
Crustaceans
Prawn
3,757
3,365
3,563
Yabbies
172
121
75
Other(c)
133
443
142
Total
4,062
3,930
3,781
Molluscs
Edible oysters
10,236
11,433
7,625
Other(d)
2,836
2,351
2,815
Total
13,072
13,784
10,440
Other fisheries production(e)
342
1,134
954
Total
44,746
45,943
43,475

(a) Excludes NT; excludes pearl oysters, hatcheries production, crocodiles, microalgae and aquarium worms.
(b) Includes eels, aquarium fish and other native fish.
(c) Includes marron and redclaw.
(d) Includes mussels, scallops, giant clams and abalone.
(e) Includes production of species unable to be assigned to a specific category.

Source: ABARE 2005a, 'Australian Fisheries Statistics, 2004'.


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