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Australian fisheries production rises in 2004-05

AUSTRALIA - Australian fisheries production rose by 5 per cent in 2004-05 to around 287 000 tonnes according to the latest publication of Australian Fisheries Statistics 2005 released today by Dr Brian Fisher, Executive Director of ABARE.

Australian fisheries production rises in 2004-05 - AUSTRALIA - Australian fisheries production rose by 5 per cent in 2004-05 to around 287 000 tonnes according to the latest publication of Australian Fisheries Statistics 2005 released today by Dr Brian Fisher, Executive Director of ABARE.

Despite increased production, the overall gross value of production fell by 6 per cent to $2.0 billion, due primarily to a stronger Australian dollar that resulted in lower prices for many species, particularly in the aquaculture sector, Dr Fisher said.

The gross value of wild caught production remained constant at $1.5 billion in 2004-05. The gross value of aquaculture production fell by 14 per cent ($102 million) to $611 million, driven mainly by a fall in the production volume and average price of southern bluefin tuna.

While the gross value of production fell, some sectors such as abalone, scallops and a number of finfish have maintained or increased their value despite the rise in the Australian dollar and production costs, Dr Fisher stated.

The value of Australian seafood exports declined from $1.3 billion in 2003-04 to $1.2 billion in 2004-05. This fall was driven predominantly by falling production and exports of southern bluefin tuna to Japan.

The value of Australian seafood imports continued to grow in 2004-05, increasing by 6 per cent to $960 million. However, the volume of seafood imports fell by 1 per cent to 186 000 tonnes.

Thailand and New Zealand continue to dominate as the major source of imported seafood. However, imports from Viet Nam and China have grown significantly in recent years.

In releasing the report, Dr Fisher acknowledged the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation for their assistance and input into the publication.

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