Southern bluefin tuna being loaded on racks for freezing it. (Photo: Robert Basili/FIS)
Tuna leads South Australia's aquaculture
Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 15:30 (GMT + 9)
A new study performed to estimate the economic impact of aquaculture activity in South Australia in 2010-11 highlights that tuna is the largest single sector in the industry, accounting for almost 55 per cent of the state’s gross value of aquaculture production in the analysed period.
The state’s total value of seafood production (landed) in 2010-11 was almost AUD 426 million (USD 444.9 million), of which aquaculture contributed almost 54 per cent or AUD 229 million (USD 239.2 million) and wild-catch fisheries provided the rest, or AUD 197 million (USD 205.8 million).
The tuna sector achieved a production valued at AUD 125.16 million (USD 130.7 million), up 22 per cent from the year before.
The other two main sectors are the oysters, which generated 16 per cent of the value of aquaculture production, and the sector of marine finfish with a production of 12 per cent. For marine finfish, the value in 2010-11 was AUD 27.91 million (USD 29.2 million), representing a jump of 3 per cent over 2009-10.
In terms of oysters, the value of adults was AUD 35.21 million (USD 36.8 million), representing a rise of 1 per cent over 2009-10, and spat sales rose by 185 per cent to AUD 1.27 million (USD 1.3 million).
"The results of this study illustrate the significance of aquaculture in SA in terms of business activity, household income and contribution to the state's growth and employment levels," the report states.
The report also covers the estimated economic impact of abalone, freshwater finfish, marron/yabbies farming and other aquaculture enterprises at the state and regional (West Coast, Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula to Kangaroo Island and Murraylands and South East) levels.
"This report clearly demonstrates the positive economic and employment contribution of the aquaculture industry to South Australia," Fisheries Minister Gail Gago said.
A large proportion of the SA aquaculture production, particularly tuna, is exported overseas. Therefore, the value of the Australian dollar can have a significant impact on the economic performance of the industry and strong changes in the value of the AUD can influence the demand for Australian aquaculture exports.
The Australian dollar increased sharply throughout 2010-11, rising from USD 0.87 in July 2010 to USD 1.06 in June 2011.
The value of output and production estimates for South Australian aquaculture for the period was based on Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) Fisheries and Aquaculture’s 2010-11 Production Returns.
By Natalia Real