PER DISCUSSION WITH FRDC (Crispian Ashby) THIS FULL APPLICATION IS UPDATED AND RESUBMITTED.
Many Australian fisheries offer both yield and productivity growth, from two sources: - better use of their harvest, and broader harvest of underutilised species. Both options will deliver higher returns to fishers if collective planning and effort is harnessed with smart value adding.
The low A$ makes export (and potential reimport) of these value added products more attractive.
Demand for seafood in Asian consumer markets continues to grow strongly, reflecting the emergence of the Asian middleclass. This global megatrend is now directly creating opportunities for Australian seafood suppliers and consumers. In the last two years as the A$ currency has weakened significantly and domestic seafood demand has expanded further, many fisheries (e.g. SA King Prawn, NSW Whiting, Skull Island King Prawn) have started to export product to Asia for processing, and / or sale and reimport to Australia. New brands are appearing on Australian seafood shelves supplied (partially) by reimported product (e.g. MSC certified Skull Island King Prawns from the Gulf of Carpentaria). In addition to reimported product, the seafood importers (who supply >70% of seafood consumed in Australia) are finding it increasingly difficult to complete with Asian consumers to secure volume for their Australian based customers.
In recent years some fisheries (eg ETBF, SESSF) have not harvested their allocated TACs. For some SESSF species less than 50% of the quota is landed. In 2014/15 the SESSF landed 10,925t from a TACC of 26,086t, only 42% of TACC. There will likely be similar yield growth options in state and territory fisheries.
In 2001 Qld DPI completed a study (FRDC 1999/347) identifying underutilised species attractive for export to Asian consumer markets. Many species and markets identified remain targets for this proposal.
Many proposed solutions to increase yield and fishery returns address only the costs of fishery access and the cost of the harvest (on boat costs, fuel, etc).
This EOI takes a different, strategic and novel approach, based on the real economic and competitive circumstances outlined above.