Australian seafood sales recorded 30-per-cent year-on-year growth last month as consumers embrace local seafood over Christmas.
According to Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the most popular seafoods included Australian prawns, rock oysters, crabs and bugs. Australian rock lobsters became a table centrepiece during the season. The significant growth during Christmas was also due to the help of major retailers like Woolworths and Coles together with independent retailers.
“This year was a hard year for the Australian seafood industry,” said Veronica Papacosta, CEO at SIA. “We needed a bumper Christmas period to help us claw our way back, we called on the community to support us and switch one meal on the Christmas table to Australian seafood.”
Papacosta said she heard countless reports of queues forming at 6am and people waiting very patiently for one-two hours to support their local producers.
Despite recording the high sales last month, key foodservice and export markets are still trending down.
“As an industry we continue to be impacted by the ongoing trade riff with China,” Papacosta added.
“If just 1 per cent of the population committed to changing one meal a week to locally sourced Australian seafood, that would be more than 250,000 meals per week of Australian seafood on tables around the country,” she said.
“This could mean the difference between a fisher making or missing a mortgage payment, and a boat heading out of harbour or spending another week docked.