"This increase reflects the continued strong growth in production of Tasmanian farmed salmonid, which is helping to compensate for a decline in the production value of other key species such as prawns, tuna, abalone and scallops," said ABARE’s acting Executive Director, Karen Schneider.
The value of Australian farmed salmonid production has nearly doubled, rising from A$147 million in 2004-05 to A$281 million in 2006-07. Almost all of this growth occurred in Tasmania. The combined value of prawn, tuna, abalone and scallop production fell by A$89 million during the same period.
In 2006-07, the total value of Australian exports declined by three per cent, falling A$53 million to A$1.49 billion. Rock lobster (A$463 million) was Australia’s most valuable fisheries export product, followed by pearls (A$314 million), abalone (A$246 million) and tuna (A$94.6 million).
Ms Schneider noted that export performance had been negatively affected by the appreciation of the Australian dollar, as well as by rising fuel prices.
Hong Kong remained Australia's main export market for fisheries products in 2006-07 at A$642 million, ahead of Japan (A$374 million) and the United States ($151 million).
Since 2000-01, the value of fisheries exports to Japan has fallen by 65 per cent (A$600 million) in real terms, reflecting a 44 per cent reduction in the volume of edible exports and the strong appreciation of the Australian dollar relative to the Japanese yen.
The value of Australian fisheries imports continued to grow in 2006-07, increasing by 16 per cent to A$1.47 billion. Thailand (A$280 million) and New Zealand (A$203 million) remained the major sources of imported fisheries products but imports from China ($161 million) and Viet Nam ($155 million) continued to show strong growth.
Over the past decade the real value of edible fisheries imports from China and Viet Nam has increased by A$139 million and A$127 million, respectively.
In releasing the report, Ms Schneider acknowledged the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation for their assistance and input into the publication.
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