Project number: 2016-173
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $11,593.64
Principal Investigator: Tricia E. Beatty
Organisation: Professional Fishermen’s Association Inc (PFAI)
Project start/end date: 9 Jul 2017 - 29 Jun 2018


A major export challenge for NSW professional fishing companies has been the perceived need to have large volumes of a single species that can be sold in bulk on commodity markets. The emergence of e-commerce platforms and the consequent shortening of the supply chain has created opportunities to develop niche markets for seafood products that have not been traditionally exported to China.
The Seafood CRC undertook a large research project on the China market and the information gained through that project is now available through the FRDC. The learnings from the Abalone and Rock Lobster industry about the changing demographics and the changing expectation of consumers in those markets has identified the potential for developing smaller niche markets within China.
Australia’s competitive advantage for seafood is not only its clean and green image but also the fact that we have a huge variety of sustainably wild caught seafood products. This matches the increased demand from China for such products. The GFresh B-to-B E-commerce platform is relatively new (has been operating for two years) and has mainly focused on live high value product traded globally with China. As such it is the leading B2B e-commerce platform for seafood. GFresh is looking to expand its platform to include other forms of seafood including chilled and frozen products.
The current industry reform being rolled out in NSW has created an imperative for NSW Professional Fishing companies to add value to their businesses and developing a niche export market, capitalising on the changes to the export infrastructure that will support such a development, is a good opportunity to do this.


1. To conduct a trade mission to China to introduce representatives from the involved fishermen's cooperatives to the Chinese Seafood Market and discuss needs to deliver the quality and quantity required by the market
2. Explore the potential of utilizing a E-commercial tool such as GFresh to supply the Chinese Seafood Market

Final report

Authors: Tricia Beatty Jayne Gallagher
Final Report • 2019-09-01 • 2.82 MB


The Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC), the Sydney Fish Market and the Australia– China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) program agreed to fund the Professional Fishermen’s Association (PFA) proposed trade mission to China to explore the concept of the supply of mixed seafood between NSW commercial fishers and China utilising an E-commerce tool. The mission was invaluable to: 
• Explore the concept and its potential;
• Establish essential networks and contacts;
• Understand practical supply issues; and
• Discuss legality issues regarding the supply of permitted and non-permitted species to China.
The trade mission was able to meet our objectives. There is an undoubtable opportunity in the concept and development of this market to China with significant positive benefits to the Australian seafood industry. The creation of a more stable market that can handle the substantial fluctuations in the supply of specific Australian seafood species as well as the willingness of the Chinese market to pay for high quality products linked strongly to providence marketing and tourism. The PFA currently trialling the supply of Live Eels to China via GFRESH as of February 2018 (FRDC 2018-087) – an agreement that was explored and discussed through the trade mission conducted as a part of this project. 
The PFA strongly believes that there is an opportunity to market the supply of Australian mixed finfish China. Further investigation into the opportunity of supplying the Chinese seafood market is needed by conducting research into the infrastructure chain to supply the E-commerce platform such as GFRESH or JD FRESH (the fresh food arm of Chinese e-commerce platform As well as the marketing and brand recognition requirements to establish a long term and highly sought seafood brand to China. 

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