Seafood demand exceeding Australian supply

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 2nd November 2011

Seafood is potentially likely to become a luxury that many Australians cannot afford, according to principal research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Dr Mike Hall.

According to a statement attributed to Dr Hall in the Weekend Australian this week, Australia will face a seafood supply shortage in twenty years if overseas demand for seafood continues to grow.

Currently, Australians consume about 422,000 metric tonnes of seafood each year according to Dr Hall, but more than 70 per cent is from imports. This is backed up by statistics that have been made available by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics (ABARE).

Furthermore, according to the OECD, the number of middle-class Asians and Indians who can afford to buy Australian seafood will skyrocket to 3.2 billion by 2030.

Dr Hall says the Australian federal government, as part of its National Food Plan, should make aquaculture and the expansion of fish-farming its top priority.

Australia currently produces 243,000 tonnes of fish and seafood annually. Yet, two thirds is sourced from the wild.

The AIMS predictions are also indicative of the potential opportunities in Australia for major growth in seafood farming operations.