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Australian Government Meets Commitment to Seafood Industry

27 July 2015

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Government has announced funding of A$550,000 to support the National Seafood Industry Alliance (NSIA) to investigate options to establish a new national seafood industry peak body.

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring a sustainable and competitive seafood industry. Prior to the federal election we promised to support national commercial fishing peak bodies and we are delivering on that commitment,” said Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck.

“This is a substantial investment for the commercial fishing sector over four years and will help them to promote sustainable fishing practices and provide strong representation by peak bodies.”

“The peak body will be representative of the broad seafood industry encompassing wild-catch, aquaculture and post-harvest sectors. The NSIA will consult broadly in undertaking this work and I encourage interested members of the seafood sector to have their say to ensure we have a peak body that is representative.”

Senator Colbeck highlighted the importance of strong industry representation and said these funds would help strengthen industry engagement with government.

“Peak bodies provide the most effective and central point for government consultation and engagement with industry and this funding will help industry to have a strong, united voice,” he said.

“Our seafood industry is a significant contributor to the economy of regional communities and more broadly contributes to the national economy. Production from wild-catch fisheries and aquaculture is forecast to have a value of $2.6 billion in 2014–15, with export earnings accounting for around half of the total production value”.

“An engaged and well-represented industry is central to a vibrant and competitive seafood sector, and one that is well placed to take advantage of markets and opportunities.”

“The government promised to support a sustainable and competitive fisheries sector and we are delivering on that promise.”

NSIA Chair, Grahame Turk said the commercial seafood industry has suffered from the lack of an adequately-resourced representative peak body, since the demise of the Australian Seafood Industry Council over a decade ago.

“This funding will allow the development of a business model for an industry-funded organisation with the resources and capacity to undertake the essential industry representative peak body function,” Mr Turk said.

“I commend the Australian Government for its vision in supporting this important industry.”

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