Australian aquaculture industries set to double in value to $2 billion

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Fish farm
An employee holds rainbow trout as he works at the "Sayanskaya Forel" (Sayan Trout) private fish farm, located on the Yenisei River, near the village of Maina, Khakassia region, March 19, 2015. Reuters/Ilya Naymushin

Aquaculture industries in Australia are expected to double their value to $2 billion after federal government launched the National Aquaculture Strategy at the Seafood Directions 2017. The latest strategy is expected to create more jobs and more high-quality seafood for export and home consumption.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said the National Aquaculture Strategy outlined a sustainable pathway to industry growth amid the rising demand for safe, clean and green Australian seafood. She acknowledged that global seafood demand continues to grow and wild-catch fishery production is plateauing, and the aquaculture industry must fill the gap.

The country’s aquaculture industry, Ruston noted, has an “enviable reputation” for producing sustainably sourced and high quality seafood. The minister explained that the new strategy has determined priority areas for the Australian, state and territory governments and industry to parlay the aquaculture's reputation into future growth. The goal is to double the value of the industry by 2027.

Ruston believed that the Australian aquaculture can take advantage of the rising world demand with an abundance of clean water, space, high-quality education and training and a steady investment environment. "We want to empower industry to harness the opportunities of increasing world seafood demand, and to support our commitment to develop a more competitive and sustainable aquaculture sector,” she said.

She added that more jobs could be generated through the new strategy. The National Aquaculture Strategy was developed in consultation with key aquaculture industry representatives and members of state and the Northern Territory governments.

Ruston also commented about the Commonwealth Fisheries Policy Statement recently launched at Seafood Directions 2017 in Sydney. It recognised the shared nature of Commonwealth fisheries, the need to protect the natural marine environment and the significance of maximising social and economic benefits for every Australian.

The statement ensures every Australian’s right to have access to local seafood from some of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world. According to Ruston, the aim is to ensure that Australia remains to be a world leader in sustainable fisheries management.

The statement described how fisheries resources in Commonwealth waters are sustainably managed. Ruston added that it also shows commitment to transparent decision making, and provides guidance to industry on what is important to the government and how decisions are made to support the future of Australian fisheries. The full Commonwealth Fisheries Policy Statement is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/fisheries-policy-statement.

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