by Norman Grant
Chairman - Seafood Importers Association of
22 million people > 35 million by 2050
per capita seafood consumption currently less than 20kg
Small Local Production
fisheries 175,000 mt* *unprocessed weight
aquaculture = 70,000 mt*
less exports 45,000 mt*
Seafood Imports Major Portion
over 200,000 mt** value = AUD$1 billion **mostly processed weight
estimate 75% of seafood consumed is now imported
AUSTRALIA Where We Import From
1. Decline is supply of uncooked shrimp due to new quarantine
restrictions introduced in 2007
2. Growth in popularity of Basa (Pangasius) and Barramundi
(Lates calcarifer) fillets from Vietnam
3. Continued strength in supply of canned fish (tuna, salmon)
and canned crustaceans (shrimp, crabs)
4. Decline in shrimp imports from India
Most popular species:
Shrimp (wild and farmed)
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)
Basa (Pangasius spp)
Hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae)
Hake (Merlucciinae spp)
Barramundi (Lates calcarifer)
Squid and octopus (various species)
Most Australians only know a few species. So there is a lot of consolidation around this narrow range.
The market is very seasonal for some products - summer best.
Retail and foodservice about 50/50.
High end foodservice (white table cloth restaurants) dominated by local species.
Budget restaurants and take-ways mostly use imported.
Fishmonger retailers use mostly local. Supermarkets use mostly imported.
Trade market is dominated by several large distributors in each State.
Many smaller distributors beginning to emerge.
Trade market is strongly price driven.
Food safety and quarantine controls are inflexible. Refer to Australian Quarantine
& Inspections Service (AQIS) website for import conditions. This system is known
B2B QA certifications.
You must have a traceability system.
You must pack 100% net weight as stated on the label.
You must use the correct fish name - refer to Australian Fish Names database.
You must establish a sound relationship with a local importer /distributor. Most
seafood trade is still the result of personal business.
Specific Quarantine Restrictions
Uncooked whole shrimp are prohibited.
Uncooked cutlets (tail-on) and peeled meat will be held for testing in Australia for
WSSV and YHD. A positive test will result in no entry.
Every batch (one pond or one day’s production) is tested separately.
Highly processed shrimp products (marinated, breaded, dim sum, etc) can avoid
disease testing if imported under permit. Stringent conditions apply.
The only exceptions are for countries free of these diseases or where
‘compartmentalization’ is approved.
Cooked shrimp must have a declaration by a competent authority that they have
been cooked in approved premises to specific time/temperature requirements.
Generally no tariffs/duties on seafood imported for human consumption.
India has approved competent authorities enabling the use of Health Certificates
to reduce food safety testing and costs.
The Australian trade market is significantly price-driven. If you are price-
competitive, this may provide the foothold you need to get started.
The range of value-added seafood products in Australia is currently small
compared to other markets.
Some of the biggest categories of migrants and visitors to Australia are from India.
This may assist in brand recognition.
Competent Authorities approved by AQIS
Export Inspection Agency
Ministry of Commerce
Livestock and Marine Products Inspection / Certification
Laboratory, Government of Kerala