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The growth of Aquaculture in Australia opens opportunities for regional workers

The growth of Aquaculture in Australia opens opportunities for regional workers

Australia is well known for fresh seafood, however along with an increasing population, seafood demand has increased considerably over the last three decades. Currently, Australia’s consumer demand for seafood exceeds the supply from domestic production and continues to grow. 

Australia has the world’s third largest fishing zone, with a coastline spanning approximately 60,000km, spread over a jurisdiction of 14 million square km.


Fish-farming is the fastest growing food sector in the world and primary industry in Australia, and is showing no signs of slowing down as major brands like Tassal report record growth.

In 2012–13 aquaculture products comprised 43 per cent of Australian seafood production and is Australia’s fastest growing primary industry. Farmed salmonids were the largest aquaculture species group produced, and the most valuable fisheries product in Australia, followed by Australian sardines, prawns, oysters and tuna.

Through a combination of careful fisheries management and modern aquaculture techniques, the Australian fishing industry, government organisations, scientists and other user groups are responding to the challenge of growing a profitable and competitive fishing industry while protecting the long-term future of Australia’s marine ecosystem.

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources believe that, “Domestic aquaculture has the potential to significantly expand to help meet domestic and international demand.”
In their report on markets and future direction, the same department made the following predictions,

"Australia has established a reputation as a supplier of safe, high quality seafood which is produced using environmentally sustainable practices. Australian aquaculture producers target high value domestic and overseas markets.

"The increasing demand for Australian native species and the proximity to Asian markets, together with world recognised seafood quality and standards, means Australian aquaculture is competitively positioned to take on high value aquaculture products.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has predicted that by 2018, farmed fish production will exceed wild fisheries production for human consumption, and that by 2021 more than half of the fish consumed globally will be produced by aquaculture."

Aquaculture production occurs throughout Australia, from the tropical north to the temperate south. The aquaculture industry is largely based in regional Australia and makes a significant and positive contribution to regional development.

Australia’s commercial fishing and aquaculture industry is worth around $2.2 billion annually. The industry employs around 11,600 people (7,300 directly and 4,300 indirectly) according to Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.

Workers in the aquaculture industry range from general hands and field workers to skills aquaculture specialists and operations managers.

APG support labour hire to the aquaculture industry through our regionally based offices across Australia. To find out more, contact us today.


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