Fresh Catch: Australia’s Seafood and Fish

Fishery is an essential part of Australia’s economy. In the 90’s consumption of seafood in Perth alone amounts to 14.7 kilograms per capita. In Sydney, this number increases to 15.1 kilograms. In 2005, seafood consumption in Melbourne is about 12.5 kilograms per capita. According to the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre, the seafood industry is one of the most valuable food-based industries of the country. From 2006 to 2007, the industry has a gross value of production of approximately two million dollars.

Seafood Production and Composition
Australia Snapper
In the entire commonwealth area, Tasmania contributes 22% of the gross value generated from the seafood industry. Western and Southern Australia falls third and second place with 20% and 21% shares respectively. The country’s fishing zone is one of the largest across the globe, with an area of about 11 million square kilometres. Despite this vast size, however, the country only lands 52nd in terms of the volume of seafood production.

Australia markets seafood products mainly for human consumption. But they also have non-edible products, including fish meal and pearls. Like other countries, Australia’s seafood goods include those from aquaculture production, and wild catch.

Most Important Species from the Country
From 2007 to 2008, statistics showed that sardines has the biggest share in the market, with approximately 34,000 tonnes traded and imported. Salmonoids, such as trouts and salmons, came in second with about 25,500 tonnes. Prawns with 22,400 tonnes, tuna with 14,700 tonnes, and rock lobster with 13,800 came in 3rd, 4th, and 5th places. When it comes to revenue, however, rock lobster takes the first place, generating about $407 million in the same year. Salmonoids still came in second with a generated estimated value of $299 million.

Rockin’ with Southern Rock Lobster
Fishing southern rock lobster is an essential industry in the country. Australia exports about 4,000 tonnes of this product yearly to Asia, specifically, Japan, Hong Kong, and China. Just as other economies in Australia have adapted an environmentally sustainable approach, so has the southern rock lobster industry. In 2004, industry members attended training to highlight their “clean green” qualifications.

Lobster is a healthy seafood product that contains good amounts of Omega-3 oil. This substance carries essential fatty acids, namely docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Having good levels of fatty acids can help you avoid cancer, including breast cancer, and heart diseases.

Southern Bluefin Tuna
Keeping it True with Southern Bluefin Tuna
Organizations consider commercial tuna farming a new player in the fishing industry, as it started only about 20 years ago. You’ll find tuna ranching at port Lincoln, in southern Australia. Catching season falls between December and March, when there’s a huge catch along the Great Australian Bight area. As a medium flavoured flesh, many prefer southern Bluefin tuna for sushi and sashimi.

Enjoying Seafood Festivals
Want to taste Australia’s freshest catch? Visit the country in April for Kangaroo Island Seafood Feastival or December of Tasmania’s Taste Festival.

The Kangaroo Island Seafood Feastival highlights the island’s finest seafood produce and local gourmet items. Events include seafood barbecues, campfire cooking, and dining events.

If you’re looking for some fresh catch, pack your bags and visit Australia.