Australian aquaculture target reached with record production value

Photo: Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Australian aquaculture is poised to become the largest sector of the Australian seafood industry and surpass $2 billion of production value for the first time.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said this record-breaking year for aquaculture was just a sign of things to come for the sector, which had gone from strength-to-strength in recent years.

“This financial year the Australian aquaculture industry is projected to grow to $2.16 billion, up 21 per cent from last year,” Assistant Minister Duniam said. “When we released the National Aquaculture Strategy in 2017, we set a goal for aquaculture to reach a value of $2 billion a year by 2027.”

Mr Duniam added that the Australian Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) has been “crucial” to keeping the aquaculture industry alive through the pandemic and allowing producers to access international markets even as trade dried up.

“The aquaculture sector has also been highly successful in broadening the variety of species produced to appeal to consumers – with an increased emphasis on prawns, abalone, oysters and finfish, including barramundi and kingfish. Opportunities for further developing new products such as seaweed aquaculture are being investigated, with huge potential.”

Mr Duniam said there are new developments in Queensland and the Northern Territory to expand prawn farming while the scientific trial of aquaculture in Commonwealth waters being undertaken by the Blue Economy CRC has the potential to open up new sustainable offshore aquaculture areas for development.

The announcement of Australian aquaculture reaching record figures comes following a recent forecast that the country’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors are set to reach a 20-year high this financial year, with the domestic industry on the up and exports forecast to rise for years to come.

Mr Duniam showed the sectors would reach $3.55 billion this year, up 10 per cent from $3.2 billion in 2020-21.

“We’re seeing increased demand for seafood exports this year,” added Mr Duniam. “Exports are expected to be valued at $1.34 billion in 2021-22.”

There has also been an unexpected jump in prices for salmon, oysters and prawns.

“Keeping our seafood moving overseas has allowed our domestic producers to take advantage of these price rises and increasing demand. With markets opening back up again after Covid-19 we expect this to continue.”

The Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture: Outlook to 2026–27 can be read here:


Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.