Seafood Industry Australia absorbs National Aquaculture Council

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing Australia’s commercial fishing industry, has announced the absorption of the responsibilities of the National Aquaculture Council (NAC) and the launch of the Aquaculture Advisory Committee (AAC), announced SIA CEO, Veronica Papacosta who “acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the NAC and those who have ensured its success”.

“SIA welcomes the opportunity to strengthen the representation of aquaculture on a national level, and we acknowledge our commitment to a sector that is productive, well resourced, sustainable and profitable”, Papacosta added. “The Australian aquaculture industry is diverse and each sector has different potential impacts of varying degrees of significance”, told.

The AAC is formed with sectoral representatives from Australia’s eight key aquaculture sectors: such abalone, with David Wood, from Yumbah Aquaculture; barramundi,  with Jo Ruscoe, of Australian Barramundi Farmers Association; kingfish, with Rob Gratton from CleanSeas; mussels, with David Wood, also from Yumbah; oysters, with Andy Myers, from Oysters Australia; prawn, with Kim Hooper, of Australian Prawn Farmers Association; salmon with Angela Williamson, from the company Tassal, and tuna, with Michael Van Doorn from Dinko Tuna Farmers.

“We undertake to work with the AAC, the broader industry, Government and other stakeholders to further the sector’s position as world-leaders in operations, environmental management, fish and crustacean health, biosecurity, and sustainability. We will strive for a sector that is well resourced to deliver high-quality, Australian seafood to both the domestic and international markets now and for generations to come”, they inform in a press release.

“SIA and the new AAC will revitalise Australia’s aquaculture voice and support fulfilling aquaculture’s tremendous potential to contribute significantly to Australia’s economy and food security,” said Kim Hooper former NAC Chair and AAC member representing prawns.

“It’s important we acknowledge the changing landscape of primary production and make necessary changes to representation to ensure the industry can focus on producing the high-quality Australian seafood we are known for. The responsibilities of NAC have found their home within SIA, and this can only enhance the strength of our aquaculture representation from a national perspective,” Ms Papacosta said.

“Australia’s aquaculture sector has maintained steady growth over the last few years, with the sector’s GVP growing 10 per cent in 2019−20. This growth can be largely attributed to Tasmania’s growing Atlantic Salmon industry, which is now worth 35 per cent of national fisheries and aquaculture GVP.

“Aquaculture is an integral food production sector and plays a key role in our nation’s food security. Australia’s aquaculture seafood products are a healthy, safe, and sustainable source of protein.

“Our aquaculture sector has a bright future as it continues to set international benchmarks by providing fresh, high-quality, sustainable seafood year-round, while meeting and exceeding regulatory requirements.”

Grant for develop and expand markets for Australian seafood exports

Last month of July, an u$ 635.000 grant from the Australian Government has been awarded to the (SIA) to develop and expand markets for Australian seafood exports. “This plan will focus on expanding into new markets, and markets with high growth potential”, Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud said.

Littleproud and Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Jonno Duniam, said the grant would develop and deliver the industry’s Export Market Strategic Plan. “A key part of the plan is investigating and analysing new potential markets, such as North Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the Americas with rock lobster and abalone a key focus.

Building up the Great Australian Seafood brand

“SIA will engage two Trade Export Managers to build capacity for seafood exporters across Australia. The grant will also go towards promoting the Great Australian Seafood brand under brand Australia. By working in partnership with Austrade, SIA will assist in the design a promotion schedule for Australian seafood in export markets.”

On their part, Duniam said there was huge growth potential internationally for Australian seafood. “By building up the Great Australian Seafood brand, we can tell the rest of the world what we already know – that Australian seafood is the best in the world.

There are swathes of consumers out there who want to enjoy seafood that is sustainably caught, clean and green, and this is an opportunity to connect with them.”

At that time, Papacosta said a key piece of the program would be the creation of a one-stop-shop for seafood exporters. “There is a plethora of information, resources and databases out there for seafood exporters, however it can be difficult for producers to keep track of them all and know how to find them”.

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