Overview

The Australian fishing industry encompasses a range of commercial fishing activities engaged in the capture of wild ocean fish and other seafood. In 2016 the industry was estimated to have around 5,150 businesses with a combined annual turnover of around $1.5 billion.

The industry is highly exposed to international competition and has been facing rising competition from cheaper imports as well as the growth of farmed fish from the aquaculture industry. However, strong demand, particularly from Asia, has helped the industry grow by an annual rate of 2.3% over the past five years.

One of the most important products produced by the Australian fishing industry is rock lobster, which comprised 40% of the total value of the national fish catch in 2015/16. The global price for rock lobster has increased in the past five years due to rising demand. Compared to the other major fish catch segments, rock lobster has remained highly profitable.