Production

​​​Fast facts

In 2015–16

  • The gross value of Australian fishery and aquaculture production (GVP) increased by 9 per cent in 2015–16 to $3.03 billion. This increase was driven by a rise in value of salmonid, rock lobster and prawn production.
  • Wild-caught products accounted for 57 per cent ($1.75 billion) of Australian fishery and aquaculture GVP. Aquaculture products accounted for 43 per cent ($1.31 billion).
  • Wild-catch GVP increased by 8 per cent in 2015–16 to $1.75 billion—the highest value in real terms since 2006–07. Rock lobster was the most valuable wild-caught species, with a production value of $695 million.
  • Aquaculture GVP increased by 10 per cent in 2015–16 to $1.31 billion. This was largely attributed to the higher production value of salmonids, which increased by 14 per cent to $718 million. Farmed salmonids remained the most valuable aquaculture species in 2015–16.
  • Tasmania accounted for the largest share of GVP (30 per cent), followed by Western Australia (20 per cent), South Australia (17 per cent) and Queensland (10 per cent). Commonwealth fisheries accounted for 15 per cent of GVP.
  • The volume of Australian fishery production increased by 12 per cent to 267,094 tonnes. This arose largely from Commonwealth fisheries and the aquaculture sector. Wild-caught species accounted for 64 per cent (174,247 tonnes) of Australian fishery and aquaculture production, while aquaculture products accounted for 36 per cent (97,046 tonnes) of total production.

From 2005–06 to 2015–16

  • A significant decline in the GVP occurred from 2005–06 to 2010–11 as a result of lower wild-catch sector production. Since 2010–11, GVP has increased at an annual average rate of 4 per cent, driven by rock lobster and aquaculture salmonid production.
  • Rock lobster GVP increased by 17 per cent to $695 million as a result of higher beach prices more than offsetting lower production volumes. Rock lobster beach prices increased by 131 per cent over the period in real terms.
  • The value of farmed salmonid production increased by 142 per cent in real terms to $718 million, driven by increased salmonid production volume, which more than doubled to 56,319 tonnes between 2005–06 and 2015–16.
  • The total volume of fishery and aquaculture production increased by 8 per cent to 267,094 tonnes. A 22,681 tonne decline of wild-caught production was more than offset by an increase in aquaculture production of 42,394 tonnes.
TABLE 1 Top five wild-catch and aquaculture species by value, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)
Salmonids717.756,319
Rock lobster694.810,102
Prawns388.024,559
Tuna170.714,221
Abalone160.24,151

Infographic

Production by sector

The wild-catch sector accounts for the majority of the GVP of Australia’s commercial fishery and aquaculture industry. The sector comprises state fisheries (generally, fisheries operating within 3 nautical miles of the state’s coast) and the Commonwealth (fisheries operating between 3 and 200 nautical miles of the Australia’s coast line) (Figure 7). In 2015–16 the wild-catch sector GVP was the highest since 2006–07 at $1.75 billion. Growth in recent years has been driven by the increased production value of rock lobster, where higher beach prices have increased production value.

The development of Australia’s aquaculture sector in the period 2005–06 to 2015–16 has resulted in the sector increasing its share of total production value and volume.

Aquaculture’s share of total fishery and aquaculture production value increased from 34 per cent in 2005–06 to 43 per cent in 2015–16 (Figure 8). The increasing value of the aquaculture sector is largely the result of increased Tasmanian salmonid production. The increased contribution of aquaculture in Australian seafood supply is consistent with a global trend of meeting increasing demand for seafood from aquaculture (FAO 2016).

FIGURE 7: Value of Australian fishery production by sector, 2005–06 to 2015–16
FIGURE 8: Volume of Australian fishery production by sector, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 2 Australian fisheries and aquaculture production by sector, 2015–16
SectorValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)
Total wild-catch1,749.6174,247
State wild-catch1,310.8117,474
Commonwealth wild-catch438.856,773
Aquaculture1,306.797,046
Total a 3,025.7 266,393

a To avoid double counting, total has been reduced to allow for southern bluefin tuna caught in the Commonwealth Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery, as an input to farms in South Australia. See tables S1, S2 and S17 for detailed statistics.

Gross value of fishery production

Gross value of fishery production provides industry and policymakers with information about the gross income generated from the commercial harvest of wild-catch stocks and aquaculture production within commercial wild-catch and aquaculture fisheries and across jurisdictions. These values also provide an estimate of the activity level, in value terms, of commercial fisheries and relative value of harvest across species.

Use of GVP as a measure of the production value of Australian fisheries in official statistics began in the early 1900s. It is a measure of the value of fishery production generated by commercial fishers or produced by aquaculture farmers. From 1935 to the late 1980s, the ABS published official gross value of production statistics for Australian fisheries, by jurisdiction and at a national level (ABS 1989; CBCS 1936).

The ABS no longer collects statistics on Australian fisheries. Since the early 1990s, ABARES has produced Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics. This publication presents statistics on the value of production of fishery and aquaculture products for each Australian fishery jurisdiction using data provided by each state and territory jurisdiction. Information on international trade in fishery and aquaculture products is drawn from ABS data.

The GVP is calculated by multiplying the weight of production by the landed unit value. The landed unit value is defined as the beach price for fish species caught in wild-catch fisheries and the farmgate price for fishery and aquaculture products produced in aquaculture establishments. These prices broadly reflect the unit prices that fishers receive for their catch or that aquaculture farmers receive for their production. The landed unit value does not include any margins associated with the marketing (including freight) and services added when fishery and aquaculture are processed and on-sold. The use of the landed unit value (beach price) in deriving gross value of production is common across jurisdictions.

Price data can be derived from various sources, including fishers and aquaculture farm operators, seafood markets and seafood buyers and processors. For some jurisdictions, the values are collected by the fisheries management authority; other jurisdictions depend on information provided by a relatively small sample of buyers.

Most fish is sold on a market away from the point of landing or aquaculture farmgate. As a result, transport and marketing margins are usually subtracted to estimate the beach price that commercial fishers receive and the farmgate price received by aquaculture farmers.

To value production at the point of landing, whole weight equivalents are used in the GVP calculation for each species being valued. Valuing production in whole weight equivalents enables comparisons across regions and species. Whole weight equivalents for semi-processed fish are obtained by applying conversion factors for each species where production is not landed whole but in a semi-processed state, such as gutted, headed and gutted, or in an otherwise reduced condition.

Wild-catch fisheries

From 2005–06 to 2013–14 wild-catch production volume generally decreased, with most of this reduction attributed to lower volumes of landed finfish. This is due to a number of factors, including lower total allowable catches for some species and market factors that affected the quantity of landings, such as a persistently high Australian dollar causing increased import competition. High input costs over the period (for example, fuel costs) also contributed to lower volumes of landed finfish.

In contrast, wild-caught production volume increased by 13 per cent in 2015–16 to an eight-year high of 174,247 tonnes. This was largely the result of a substantial increase in the catch volume of small pelagic species and the highest tuna catch since 2006–07.

The real value of wild-caught production in 2011–12 was 25 per cent below the level achieved in 2005–06 (Figure 9). This decline was a result of a lower rock lobster, prawn and abalone production value, which fell by a combined $375 million (in 2015–16 dollars) during that period. Since 2011–12 wild-catch GVP has increased annually, largely as a result of a sharp rise in rock lobster prices. Rock lobster GVP increased by 63 per cent between 2011–12 and 2015–16, to account for 40 per cent of the value of total wild-catch GVP, up from 30 per cent in 2011–12. Rock lobster was the most valuable species group produced in 2015–16, with a landed value of $695 million.

FIGURE 9 Wild-catch production value by species group, 2005–06 to 2015–16

Finfish

Key species: tuna, Australian sardine, coral trout, flathead, sharks

In contrast to the longer-term trend of lower production volumes, wild-caught finfish production volume increased by 20 per cent in 2015–16 to a nine-year high of 126,497 tonnes. This was largely the result of a substantial increase in the catch volume of small pelagic species and the highest tuna catch since 2006–07. The value of wild-caught finfish increased by 20 per cent in 2015–16 to $516 million—the highest value in real terms since 2008–09 (Figure 10).

TABLE 3 Wild-caught finfish species production, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million) Volume (tonnes) Value change (%) Volume change (%)
Tuna74.410,2251715
Australian sardine29.744,8982016
Coral trout27.2856811
Flathead24.53,788131
Sharks26.85,53953
Other finfish333.761,1922330
Total 516.3 126,497 20 21

See table S2 for detailed statistics.

From 2005–06 to 2013–14, there was a general decline in landings of finfish, driving a fall in GVP for this group. Given the number of species in this group, it is difficult to quantify the effects of different factors on overall landings. A mix of factors is likely to have contributed to the decline in landings and GVP, including the increased availability of global aquaculture finfish products; increased market share of imported seafood; higher business input costs compared with the previous decade, which negatively affected incentives to fish; and lower total allowable catches (TACs) for some finfish species to ensure continued sustainability of stocks.

FIGURE 10 Wild-caught finfish production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16

Crustaceans

From 2005–06 to 2011–12 the GVP of crustaceans fell significantly largely due to lower catch and the negative impacts of an appreciation of the Australian dollar had on beach prices (Figure 11). Since 2011–12 the GVP of crustaceans has increased significantly, a result of a rise in rock lobster prices. The rise in rock lobster prices was a result of strong export demand.

FIGURE 11 Wild-caught crustacean production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 4 Wild-caught crustacean production by species, 2015–16
Species Value ($ million) Volume (tonnes) Value change (%) Volume change (%)
Rock lobster694.810,1024–2
Prawns301.519,9308–1
Other crustaceans59.85,082–2–7
Total 1,056.1 35,114 5 –2

See table S2 for detailed statistics.

Molluscs

Key species: abalone, scallops

From 2005–06 to 2015–16, the GVP of molluscs generally declined (Figure 12). This was due to a number of factors. Production volumes of scallop and abalone have declined, owing to seasonal factors and environmental conditions affecting production volumes. In 2015–16, the volume of mollusc production fell by 7 per cent to 12,392 tonnes. The GVP for molluscs remained largely unchanged in 2015–16 at $176 million.

FIGURE 12 Wild-caught mollusc production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 5 Wild-caught mollusc production by species, 2015–16
Species Value ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Abalone131.53,394–3–10
Scallops14.05,0132416
Squids12.82,2711023
Other molluscs18.01,7143–50
Total 176.3 12,392 0 –7

See table S2 for detailed statistics.

Aquaculture

The gross value of aquaculture production increased by 10 per cent in 2015–16 to $1.31 billion (Figure 13). This was largely a result of increased production volume, which rose by 9 per cent to 97,046 tonnes. Tasmania was the main region contributing to increased production, with the expansion of its salmonid aquaculture sector.

Growth in finfish production, predominantly salmonids from Tasmania, accounted for most of the growth in aquaculture production volume and value between 2005–06 and 2015–16. Increased aquaculture prawn production, particularly from Queensland, and edible oyster production in New South Wales also contributed to the overall increase in production volume in 2015–16.

FIGURE 13: Australian aquaculture production value by species group, 2005–06 to 2015–16

Finfish

Key species: salmonids, tuna

The GVP and production volume of Australian aquaculture finfish in 2015–16 rose by 12 per cent to $925 million and by 14 per cent to 71,877 tonnes, respectively (Figure 14). Most of the growth in finfish aquaculture in 2015–16 was the result of increased salmonid (largely Atlantic salmon) production, which increased by 14 per cent in 2015–16 to account for 78 per cent of aquaculture finfish GVP. The GVP of aquaculture tuna fell by 3 per cent to $127 million.

TABLE 6 Aquaculture finfish production by species, 2015–16
Species Value ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Salmonids717.756,3191416
Tuna126.98,895–36
Barramundi35.03,542–6–6
Other finfish45.73,1215056
Total 925.3 71,877 12 14

See table S17 for detailed statistics.

Aquaculture finfish GVP grew strongly from 2005–06 to 2015–16. This was a result of salmonid production growth, which more than doubled over the period to $718 million. In contrast, the real value (in 2015–16 dollars) of aquaculture southern bluefin tuna contracted over the same period from $200 million in 2005–06 to $127 million in 2015–16. Driving the decline in aquaculture tuna GVP was a downward trend in unit price, which was 37 per cent lower in real terms in 2015–16 than in 2005–06. Tuna is mostly exported to the Japanese market. Possible factors leading to the fall in farmed tuna GVP was the appreciation of the Australian dollar against the yen and changing consumer preferences in Japan towards more western diets and a shift away from seafood consumption (Statistics Bureau of Japan 2015).

FIGURE 14 Aquaculture finfish production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16

Crustaceans

Key species: prawns

The gross value of aquaculture crustacean production (predominantly prawns) increased marginally in 2015–16 to $90 million (Figure 15). An increase in the average price received for aquaculture prawns was largely offset by a decline in aquaculture prawn production. Prawns dominated aquaculture crustacean production value between 2005–06 and 2015–16, accounting on average for 94 per cent of aquaculture crustacean GVP. Aquaculture prawns can experience some sensitivity to international markets in the form of import competition. Therefore, currency fluctuations can have a significant impact on price and production value.

FIGURE 15 Aquaculture crustacean production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 7 Aquaculture crustacean production by species, 2015–16
 SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Prawns86.54,6280–12
Other crustaceans3.8127–1–11
Total 90.3 4,755 0 –12

See table S17 for detailed statistics.

Molluscs

Key species: edible oysters, pearl oysters

The gross value of aquaculture mollusc production increased by 7 per cent in 2015–16 to $215 million (Figure 16). Edible oysters, which are the highest-value product, increased in both value and volume. Despite an increase in 2015–16, aquaculture mollusc production value for 2015–16 was below the 2005–06 to 2014–15 period average of $250 million (in 2015–16 dollars). Competition from aquaculture pearls using different species to Australia’s Pinctada spp. have increased over the period, lowering the price received for Australia’s premium cultured pearls.

FIGURE 16 Aquaculture mollusc production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 8 Aquaculture mollusc production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Edible oysters97.011,34543
Pearl oysters78.4na15na
Abalone28.7757–0–11
Other molluscs10.73,625–8–1
Total 214.8 15,728 7 1

See table S17 for detailed statistics. Individual species production for 2015–16 does not include Northern Territory production due to confidentiality. na Not available.

Production by jurisdiction

Gross volume and value of Australian fishery and aquaculture production by jurisdiction and location of catch are given in tables S3 to S6. Production and value summaries for each jurisdiction are given in tables S7 to S14. Jurisdiction of     catch refers to whether the catch falls into state or Commonwealth jurisdictional waters. Location of catch refers to the state that the catch is landed in and includes Commonwealth catch distributed to the states.

In 2015–16 Tasmania had the largest GVP, accounting for 30 per cent of total fishery production value, followed by Western Australia (19 per cent) and South Australia (17 per cent) (Figure 17). Percentages are calculated based on the sum of gross jurisdictional production values which have not been adjusted for tuna caught in the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery and introduced into SA farms.

The largest movements in production value from 2005–06 to 2015–16 came from Tasmanian production value, which increased substantially in real terms, resulting in an increase in Tasmania’s production share from 19 per cent in 2005–06 to
30 per cent in 2015–16. This was a result of significant growth in the Tasmanian aquaculture industry, particularly in salmonid production.

FIGURE 17 Shares in gross value of fishery and aquaculture production by jurisdiction, 2005–06 and 2015–16
FIGURE 18 Value of Australian fishery and aquaculture production by jurisdiction, 2015–16

New South Wales

Key species groups: prawns (wild-catch), sea mullet (wild-catch), oysters (aquaculture)

The gross value of NSW fishery production increased by 4 per cent in 2015–16 to $156 million but decreased in volume by 2 per cent to 16,440 tonnes (Figure 19). A fall in wild-catch production value was more than offset by a rise in aquaculture production value.

FIGURE 19 NSW fisheries and aquaculture production value by sector, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 9 NSW fisheries and aquaculture production by sector, 2015–16
SectorValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Wild-catch91.111,7422–2
Aquaculture64.94,7847–2
Total 156.0 16,526 4 –2

See table S7 for detailed statistics.

Wild-catch

The gross value of New South Wales’ wild-catch fishery production increased in by 2 per cent in 2015–16 to $91 million (Figure 20). This was largely the result of an increase in mollusc and finfish production value. Partially offsetting this was a decline in crustacean production value, largely reflecting a decline in prawn production value.

TABLE 10 NSW wild-catch production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Prawns29.1288–7–0
Rock lobster11.815833
Sea mullet9.62,84370
Other wild-caught species40.78,4537–3
Total 91.1 11,742 2 –2

See table S7 for detailed statistics.

New South Wales’ wild-catch fisheries GVP trended down between 2005–06 and 2015–16. This has been a result of generally falling catch across finfish species and molluscs. The fall in finfish production can be attributed to lower fishing effort as a result of fishers exiting the industry in the period and an increase in import competition for frozen finfish product into the Australian domestic market.

FIGURE 20 NSW wild-catch production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16

A contributing factor to the fall in mollusc values was lower beach prices achieved for abalone between 2005–06 and 2015–16. In contrast to finfish and molluscs, wild-caught crustacean GVP was higher in 2015–16 compared with 2005–06, reflecting a doubling of rock lobster GVP over the period. The doubling of the value of rock lobster production reflects increase   total allowable commercial catch (TACC) and average beach price over the period.

Aquaculture

The gross value of New South Wales’ aquaculture production increased by 7 per cent in 2015–16 to $65 million (Figure 21). Aquaculture oyster production made the   most significant contribution to the rise in value, increasing in value by 9 per cent to $44 million. The value of the NSW aquaculture sector trended down between 2005–06 and 2011–12, largely as a result of lower edible oyster GVP after adverse environmental conditions affected production. The rise in value of aquaculture production between 2011–12 and 2015–16 reflects a rise in oyster prices and a rise in edible oyster pro uction volume along with increased production volumes across a range of species.

FIGURE 21 NSW aquaculture production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 11 NSW aquaculture production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Oysters44.33,72790
Prawns6.032617–2
Other aquaculture species14.6730–2–15
Total 64.9 4,784 7 –2

See table S7 for detailed statistics.

Victoria

Key species groups: abalone (wild-catch, aquaculture), southern rock lobster (wild-catch), abalone (aquaculture)

The gross value of Victorian fishery and aquaculture production decreased by 3 per cent in 2015–16 to $85 million, driven by a 12 per cent decline in the gross value of abalone production (wild-caught and aquaculture) (Figure 22).

FIGURE 22 Victoria fisheries and aquaculture production value by sector, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 12 Victorian fisheries and aquaculture by sector, 2015–16
SectorValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Wild-catch57.84,476–218
Aquaculture27.62,670–5–7
Total 85.4 7,146 –3 7

See table S8 for detailed statistics.

Wild-catch

Victorian wild-catch fishery production value fell by 2 per cent in 2015–16 to $58 million (Figure 23). This was driven by a fall in average unit prices across a number of finfish species and lower catch and lower production value of abalone, squid and other molluscs.

The gross value of Victoria’s wild-catch fisheries production almost halved in real terms between 2005–06 and 2009–10. This was a result of strong falls in abalone, due to falls in both average unit values and volumes produced. The occurrence of abalone viral ganglioneuritis (AVG) disease during this period significantly reduced abalone production in the Victorian wild-catch sector. Abalone production volumes have since been limited by conservatively set TAC levels which have been targeted at stock rebuilding. A number of factors have contributed to the fall in the abalone unit price, including expansion of global aquaculture abalone production and the high value of the Australian dollar, which placed downward pressure on export prices. Since 2010–11, wild-catch fishery production value has averaged around $59 million per year, supported by increases in the value of rock lobster production.

FIGURE 23 Victorian wild-catch production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 13 Victorian wild-catch production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Rock lobster24.528810
Abalone19.7728–2–1
Other wild-caught species13.63,461–525
Total 57.8 4,476 –2 18

See table S8 for detailed statistics.

Aquaculture

The gross value of Victorian aquaculture production decreased by 5 per cent in 2015–16 to $28 million driven by falls in the value of abalone and mussel production (Figure 24).

Victoria’s gross value of aquaculture production decreased from 2005–06 to 2008–09 as a result of a lower production volume for a range of species, including salmonids.

Since 2011–12, the gross value of aquaculture production has recovered. This has been due to growth in the value of salmonid and abalone production.

FIGURE 24 Victorian aquaculture production value by species, 2005–06 to2015–16
TABLE 14 Victorian aquaculture production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Abalone11.1326–25–25
Salmonids11.01,3434717
Other aquaculture species5.51,001–19–22
Total 27.6 2,670 –5 –7

See table S8 for detailed statistics.

Queensland

Key species groups: prawns (wild-catch, aquaculture), coral trout (wild-catch), barramundi (aquaculture)

The gross value of Queensland’s fishery and aquaculture production decreased by 1 per cent in 2015–16 to $294 million (Figure 25). Growth in value in Queensland’s aquaculture sector was more than offset by a decline in wild-catch sector production.

FIGURE 25 Queensland fisheries and aquaculture production value by sector, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 15 Queensland fisheries and aquaculture production by sector, 2015–16
SectorValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Wild-catch175.919,269–3–5
Aquaculture118.37,6214–7
Total 294.2 26,890 –1 –6

See table S9 for detailed statistics.

Wild-catch

The gross value of Queensland’s wild-catch fisheries fell by 3 per cent in 2015–16 to $176 million (Figure 26). Contributing to this fall were declines the catch value of prawns and scallops. The gross value of Queensland’s wild-catch fisheries production declined between 2005–06 and 2015–16. Most of the decline in value since 2009–10 can be attributed to lower production volumes of finfish and prawn products. A range of factors have contributed to the decline in production volume of these species groups, including decreased participation in commercial fisheries (the Queensland Government ran three commercial fishing licence buybacks schemes between 2012 and 2014) and increased import competition among finfish and prawn products.

FIGURE 26 Queensland wild-catch production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 16 Queensland wild-catch production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Prawns62.65,245–9–10
Coral trout26.781788
Lobster (including bugs)19.4838911
Crabs24.22,570–17–10
Other wild-caught species42.99,7983–3
Total 175.9 19,269 –3 –5

See table S9 for detailed statistics.

Aquaculture

The gross value of Queensland’s aquaculture production increased by 4 per cent in 2015–16 to $118 million, while production volume decreased by 7 per cent to 7,621 tonnes (Figure 27). The increase in production value was a result of higher production volume and average price for barramundi, whereas the fall in volume was a result of lower prawn production (which was partially offset by higher average prices received for aquaculture prawns).

Queensland aquaculture has fluctuated in both value and volume over the decade. This has been a result of volatile prawn production volume and value in response to variable global market conditions and import competition. Aquaculture barramundi production grew over the period in response to increases in demand for seafood.

FIGURE 27 Queensland aquaculture production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 17 Queensland aquaculture production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Prawns80.54,302–1–13
Barramundi29.33,05374
Other aquaculture species8.526658–13
Total 118.3 7,621 4 –7

See table S9 for detailed statistics.

South Australia

Key species groups: southern rock lobster (wild-catch), southern bluefin tuna (aquaculture), prawns (wild-catch), oysters (aquaculture), Australian sardine (wild-catch)

The gross value of South Australia’s fishery and aquaculture production increased by 10 per cent to $516 million in 2015–16 (Figure 28). Contributing to this growth was an increase in the volume of fishery and aquaculture product produced, which increased by 13 per cent to 73,481 tonnes. Higher average beach prices for the major wild-catch species also contributed to growth. Between 2005–06 and 2015–16 the gross value of South Australia’s wild-catch fishery and aquaculture production averaged $491 million in 2015–16 dollars.

FIGURE 28 SA fisheries and aquaculture production value by sector, 2005–06 to2015–16
TABLE 18 SA fisheries and aquaculture production by sector, 2015–16
SectorValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Wild-catch264.750,6831012
Aquaculture251.522,7981115
Total 516.2 73,481 10 13

See table S10 for detailed statistics.

Wild-catch

The gross value of South Australia’s wild-catch fishery production increased   by 10 per cent in 2015–16 to $265 million (Figure 29). Driving this growth was an increase in production value of rock lobster, prawns and Australian sardine.

The gross value of South Australian wild-catch production value was variable between 2005–06 and 2015–16. Following a general decline in production value from 2006–07 to 2012–13, an increase in wild-caught production value was driven by increased value of rock lobster landings. Between 2012–13 and 2015–16 the value of rock lobster increased by around $46 million.

FIGURE 29 SA wild-catch production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 19 SA wild-catch production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Lobster137.71,592102
Prawns45.02,5742723
Australian sardine25.941,1032014
Abalone22.2626–12–16
Other wild-caught species33.84,78821
Total 264.7 50,683 10 12

See table S10 for detailed statistics.

Aquaculture

The gross value of South Australia’s aquaculture fishery production increased by 11 per cent in 2015–16 to $252 million (Figure 30). The value of South Australian aquaculture fishery production was volatile over the period 2005–06 to 2015–16.

This volatility stems from the dominance of southern bluefin tuna in the aquaculture production mix—a product that is strongly linked to the export market. Most tuna exported from South Australia is destined for Japan; hence the farmgate value of tuna is affected by volatility in the Australian dollar yen exchange rate. Also, southern bluefin tuna production volume is influenced by the input to the farms, which is dependent on the level of the wild-catch TAC for the species. Lower TAC for southern bluefin tuna in the period 2009–10 to 2010–11 contributed to lower production volume and farmgate GVP in that period.

FIGURE 30 SA aquaculture production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 20 SA aquaculture production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Tuna126.98,895–36
Oysters31.04,589918
Abalone14.7350295
Other aquaculture species79.08,9643826
Total 251.5 22,798 11 15

See table S10 for detailed statistics.

Western Australia

Key species groups: western rock lobster (wild-catch), pearls (aquaculture), prawns (wild-catch)

In 2015–16 the gross value of Western Australia’s fishery and aquaculture production increased by 4 per cent to $593 million, while production volume increased by 2 per cent to 21,229 tonnes (Figure 31). The increase in production value in 2015–16 was driven primarily by a rise in the value of wild-catch crustacean production (mainly rock lobster), which increased by 4 per cent to $446 million, largely as a result of higher beach prices for rock lobster landings.

The gross value of Western Australian fisheries production is dominated by wild-catch fisheries, which averaged 77 per cent of the total value over the period 2005–06 to 2015–16. The increase in production value in 2015–16 followed consecutive rises in production value that occurred between 2011–12 and 2015–16. The rise in production value in this period is in contrast to declines in the value of production from 2005–06 to 2011–12.

FIGURE 31 WA fisheries and aquaculture production value by sector, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 21 WA fisheries and aquaculture production by sector, 2015–16
SectorValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Wild-catch504.120,51434
Aquaculture89.271510–29
Total 593.3 21,229 4 2

See table S11 for detailed statistics.

Wild-catch

The gross value of Western Australia’s wild-catch fisheries increased by 3 per cent   in 2015–16 to $504 million (Figure 32). Rock lobster was the most significant contributor to the rise in value, followed by prawns. The value of Western Australian wild-catch fishery production trended down from 2005–06 to 2011–12 as a result of rock lobster production volumes almost halving over the period. Since 2011–12 wild-catch production value has risen, driven by rock lobster.

FIGURE 32 WA wild-catch production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 22 WA wild-catch production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Lobster394.15,7122–7
Prawns43.43,226168
Other wild-caught species66.611,57528
Total 504.1 20,514 3 4

See table S11 for detailed statistics.

Aquaculture

The gross value of Western Australia’s aquaculture production increased by 10 per cent in 2015–16 to $89 million (Figure 33). The key driver of this increase was pearl oyster production, which increased in value by 15 per cent to $78 million.

The gross value of Western Australian aquaculture trended downward from 2005–06 to 2015–16. The driver of this trend was the global market for pearls, which has seen a reduction of demand since the Global Financial Crisis, particularly from Asia. Another contributing factor was an increase in pearl supply as competition from aquaculture pearl oyster production in South-East Asia has expanded.

FIGURE 33 WA aquaculture production by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 23 WA aquaculture production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Pearls78.4na15na
Other wild-caught species10.8715–19–29
Total 89.2 715 10 –29

See table S11 for detailed statistics. na Not available.

Tasmania

Key species groups: salmonids (aquaculture), southern rock lobster (wild- catch), abalone (wild-catch)

The gross value of Tasmanian fishery and aquaculture production increased by 11 per cent in 2015–16 to $913 million (Figure 34). Production volume increased by 13 per cent to 63,138 tonnes. Tasmanian fishery production has continued its increasing trend, driven by an expanding aquaculture industry.

FIGURE 34 Tasmanian fisheries and aquaculture production by sector, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 24 Tasmanian fisheries and aquaculture production by sector, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Wild-catch182.34,680413
Aquaculture730.758,4581213
Total913.163,1381113

See table S12 for detailed statistics.

Wild-catch

The gross value of production for Tasmania’s wild-catch fisheries increased by 4 per cent in 2015–16 to $182 million (Figure 35). Production volume rose by 13 per cent to 4,680 tonnes. The rise in production value and volume was most significant for molluscs, followed by crustaceans.

FIGURE 35 Tasmanian wild-catch production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 25 Tasmanian wild-catch production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Lobster92.91,13849
Abalone79.71,7442-8
Other wild-caught species9.71,7971549
Total182.34,680413

See table S12 for detailed statistics.

Aquaculture

The gross value of Tasmanian aquaculture production increased by 12 per cent in 2015–16 to $731 million (Figure 36). Salmonids are the major aquaculture product of Tasmania. In 2015–16 the volume and value of salmonids increased to 54,772 tonnes and $704 million, respectively.

Tasmanian aquaculture fisheries have grown strongly since 2005–06 as the aquaculture salmonid industry has expanded. Aquaculture salmonid volumes have more than doubled from 2005–06 to 2015–16, with salmonids becoming one of the most valuable fishery products produced in Australia. Tasmanian salmonid production value accounted for 98 per cent of Australian salmonid production in 2015–16.

FIGURE 36 Tasmanian aquaculture production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 26 Tasmanian aquaculture production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Salmonids704.454,7721416
Oysters21.23,029-10-10
Other aquaculture species5.1656-19-36
Total730.758,4581213

See table S12 for detailed statistics.

Northern Territory

Key species groups: pearls (aquaculture), mackerel (wild-catch), goldband snapper (wild-catch), crabs (wild-catch), barramundi (wild-catch, aquaculture)

The gross value of production of the Northern Territory’s fisheries and aquaculture increased by 8 per cent in 2015–16 to $59 million (Figure 37). The gross value of the Northern Territory’s annual fishery production declined by 11 per cent in real terms between 2005–06 and 2015–16. This was the result of a decline in the gross value of aquaculture production more than offsetting an increase in the value of wild-caught production.

FIGURE 37 NT fisheries and aquaculture production value by sector, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 27 NT fisheries and aquaculture production by sector, 2005–06 to 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Wild-catch34.96,1101214
Aquaculture24.5na2na
Total59.4na8na

See table S13 for detailed statistics.  na Not available.

Wild-catch

The gross value of Northern Territory’s wild-catch sector increased by 12 per cent in 2015–16 to $35 million (Figure 38). An increase in production value of finfish more than offset a decline in crab production value.

The gross value of crab production in the Northern Territory initially increased but then declined significantly between 2005–06 and 2015–16. The value of wild-caught finfish production averaged around $28 million (in 2015–16 dollars) from 2005–06 to 2015–16 but increased by 19 per cent in 2015–16 to reach a 12-year high of $32 million.

FIGURE 38 Value of NT wild-catch production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 28 NT wild-catch production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Mackerel5.38293311
Goldband snapper3.2519-176
Crab3.0149-35-35
Barramundi2.63237-15
Other wild-caught species20.94,2902823
Total34.96,1101214

See table S13 for detailed statistics.  

Aquaculture

The value of aquaculture production in the Northern Territory increased in 2015–16 compared with 2014–15. The species value of production breakdown cannot be provided for 2015–16 because of confidentiality requirements.

Commonwealth

Key species groups: prawns (wild-catch), tuna (wild-catch), sharks (wild-catch)

The gross value of Commonwealth fisheries production increased by 25 per cent in 2015–16 to $439 million (Figure 39). This was the fourth consecutive annual rise in production value and the highest GVP in real terms since 2003–04. The Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF), Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF), Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery (SBT), Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) and Torres Strait fisheries accounted for 70 per cent of Commonwealth fisheries GVP in 2015–16.

TABLE 29 Commonwealth fisheries production by fishery, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Northern Prawn Fishery124.06,86316-4
Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery73.015,90782
Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery35.95,508-31
Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery
48.86,5723929
Torres Strait fisheries24.41,094-3-2
Other Commonwealth fisheries132.820,82869180
Total438.856,7732536

See table S14 for detailed statistics.  

Fisheries

In 2015–16 the NPF remained the most valuable Commonwealth fishery. Significantly higher levels of production value in 2013–14, 2014–15 and 2015–16, compared with 2005–06 to 2013–14, was the result of higher production volumes from the fishery combined with higher beach prices in those years. GVP in the NPF was variable between 2005–06 and 2015–16, which is partly reflective of changes   to the value of banana prawn production value. Banana prawns are typically the most valuable species caught in the NPF, but catch levels are volatile because of the species’ short life cycle and sensitivity to seasonal conditions, particularly rainfall in Northern Australia (Bath & Green 2016).

The gross value of production in the SESSF increased by 8 per cent in 2015–16 to $73 million. The SESSF comprises three separate fishery sectors: the Commonwealth Trawl Sector (where GVP increased by 12 per cent to $43 million), the Gillnet, Hook and Trap Sector (up 7 per cent to $24 million) and the Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector (down 9 per cent to $8 million). The rise in Commonwealth Trawl Sector production value was a result of an increase in the value of production for orange roughy, blue grenadier and tiger flathead. Gillnet, Hook and Trap Sector GVP increased because of an increase in production value of gummy shark and blue eye trevalla more than offsetting declines for other targeted species. The fall in Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector production can be attributed to a fall in the value of production of bight redfish.

GVP of the SESSF declined significantly from 2005–06 to 2015–16. This fishery was restructured through the Commonwealth ‘Securing Our Future Fishing’ Policy, which led to a decrease in participation in the fishery after 2005–06. At the same time, strong import competition in the form of frozen blue grenadier from New Zealand and basa from South-East Asia has increased significantly, driving down prices.

The gross value of the ETBF increased by 39 per cent in 2015–16 to $49 million, driven by higher tuna (largely yellowfin tuna) and swordfish production.

The gross value of yellowfin tuna production in the ETBF increased by 43 per cent to $25 million, reflecting a 34 per cent in catch volume and a 6 per cent increase in average price. Low quota latency for yellowfin tuna during the 2015 season (March to February) suggests that favourable economic conditions for targeting that species prevailed during that period.

The gross value of the SBTF production fell by 3 per cent in 2015–16 to $36 million, reflecting a fall in both the average unit value and the production of bluefin tuna. Production value has trended down in the SBTF as TACs restricted production volumes, and demand for tuna has varied with the Japanese economy and movements of the Australian dollar against the yen.

Other Commonwealth fisheries production value increased, contributing the most to the overall increase in production value for Commonwealth fisheries. There is no breakdown of other Commonwealth fisheries by species due to confidentiality requirements.

FIGURE 39 Commonwealth fisheries production value by fishery, 2005–06 to 2015–16

Species

Prawns remained the most valuable species caught in Commonwealth fisheries in 2015–16, increasing in production value by 14 per cent to $131 million (Figure 40). The value of tuna production increased by 17 per cent to $74 million, reflecting increased catch in the ETBF. Other finfish made the largest contribution to Commonwealth fishery production value, increasing by 40 per cent to $207 million. Molluscs make a relatively minor contribution to Commonwealth fishery GVP. Scallops are the major mollusc species produced in Commonwealth fisheries.

Production value of this species increased by 67 per cent to $4.6 million, reflecting an increase in production volume.

FIGURE 40 Commonwealth fisheries production value by species, 2005–06 to 2015–16
TABLE 30 Commonwealth fisheries production by species, 2015–16
SpeciesValue ($ million)Volume (tonnes)Value change (%)Volume change (%)
Prawns131.07,46214-5
Tuna74.410,2131715
Lobster14.3376-2-1
Other species219.238,7214056
Total438.856,7732536

See table S13 for detailed statistics.  

​​
Last reviewed:
27 Apr 2018