Seafood industry welcomes IFAM extension

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry, has welcomed news the Federal Government will extend the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) until December 2020.

“On behalf of our members and the entire Australian seafood industry, SIA would like to thank the Federal Government for extending the IFAM until the end of the year,” SIA Interim CEO Veronica Papacosta said. “The $240 million extension will allow Australia’s wild-catch fishers and aquaculturists to deliver an estimated $3 billion worth of produce to key international markets including China, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

“The IFAM extension will provide market certainty to our exporters who rely on air freight, and will help protect jobs in the wild-caught and aquaculture sectors, and countless more positions downstream in postharvest, freight and beyond.

“Since the IFAM was first announced in March, more than $500 million worth of seafood products have been exported. Keeping industry connected to our international markets only secures the future of businesses and jobs, but cements our reputation as a reliable trading partner.

Typically Australian seafood exports are carried in the cargo hold of commercial aircraft, but with few international passenger flights under COVID-19 restrictions the majority of outbound flights were cancelled which saw our transport routes disappear.

Restoring these supply chains has been important to industry maintaining relationships with customers around the world, so we can continue to deliver our high-quality Australian
seafood to every corner of the globe long after IFAM ends and COVID-19 has passed.

“The IFAM has provided an export-lifeline to industry nationwide during the COVID-19
pandemic, without it our industry would not be where we are today,” said Papacosta.
“The Coalition has provided unwavering support for industry throughout the COVID-19
economic crisis, and we thank them for helping to keep Australian businesses and jobs
afloat, and Australian seafood on the table.

“We’d also like to acknowledge the hard work of Seafood Trade Advisory Group’s Nathan
Maxwell and Jayne Gallagher, Tassal, and all members of the Australian seafood industry
who have worked tirelessly with the government to help secure this support extension.”

$4 million helping hand announced as fishers reel from COVID impact

“Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, Assistant Minister for Fisheries Senator Jonno Duniam and Queensland Liberal Senator Paul Scarr have announced $4 million in funding toward a national marketing campaign to promote Australian seafood to the nation,” SIA Interim CEO Veronica Papacosta said.

This campaign is designed to support the industry’s recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding will allow the Australian seafood industry to deliver a 12-month national awareness program designed to provide a much needed boost to the Australia seafood industry, and the supply chain that supports it including retailers and foodservice, as the industry recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.

“Australian seafood is iconic, but it is not yet a brand. This campaign represents the industry’s move to establish Australian Seafood as a brand in its own right, and we couldn’t be any more excited to promote Australian seafood, to Australian consumers.

“A national approach to marketing has been a long time coming, and it will be our job to ensure a united approach remains a focus for industry moving forward.

“Australian seafood is the best in the world, our commercial fisheries are global leaders in sustainability and it’s time we celebrated an undisputed national icon.

“Post-COVID-19 we’re noticing a change in Australian consumers and they’re prioritising Australian produce. This provides us with a wonderful opportunity to position our clean and sustainable Australian seafood to domestic consumers, as they adjust their purchasing behaviours and prioritise the importance of Australian origin.

“The need for trust and confidence in our food sources, supply-chains and long-term resource sustainability is more necessary than ever before,” said Papacosta.

Seafood industry buoyed by Federal support

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s $110 million International Freight Assistance announcement.

“We’d like to thank the Federal Government for helping to keep Aussie jobs and Aussie seafood on the table,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said. “The Australian seafood industry has been in turmoil since orders to China evaporated on 24 January. We asked the Federal Government for financial support and coordination assistance to reopen export markets; today we can tick that box.

“Seafood Industry Australia was created for moments like this. As the voice of the Australian seafood industry we asked our members what their needs were, how we could keep the industry afloat, and we took that message to Governments right around the country.”

The assistance will help the Australian seafood industry restart exports to global markets, including China. This means not only securing Australian businesses and jobs in the seafood industry, but further downstream in processing, freight and beyond, according to Lovell.

“For the Aussie seafood businesses who have effectively been without an income for nine weeks, for their employees, and for their families this marks the beginning of a return to normal. There’s no better stimulus than getting back to work. We have orders waiting, and we now have a way to confidently go fishing to fill those orders,” she said.

“We asked for government fees and charges to be waived, and the Federal Government heard that request and has waived fisheries management levies under the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, saving our industry more than $10 million this year. This waiver is welcome news for our struggling industry and will provide a slight reprieve to many.

“We look forward to welcoming more good news over the coming weeks as other states assist industry by waiving their fees and charges. We understand there are many challenges for Governments across the country right now, but as an essential service, who provide more than one billion meals to families here and overseas, it is critical that we’re able to keep working.

“We have worked closely with the Federal Government, and particularly Assistant Minister Jonathon Duniam and his office. We thank John and Danielle for responding to our calls for help – and we look forward to continuing to work with them to deliver on challenges we continue to face. We’d also like to acknowledge the hard work of Seafood Trade Advisory Group’s (STAG) Nathan Maxwell and Jayne Gallagher.”

Seafood industry urges lovers to buy Aussie

Australia’s seafood industry is urging consumers to “Say it with seafood” this Valentine’s Day in a bid to give the industry a much needed boost as it grapples with the flow on effect of the summer’s extreme weather and coronavirus.

“This Valentine’s Day we are urging Aussies to ‘Say it with seafood’,” Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) CEO Jane Lovell said.

“It’ll come as no surprise that our many in our industry have been doing it rough lately. From drought to catastrophic fires and flooding rain; coupled with export and now domestic market disruption due to the cancellation of sales into China, we need Aussies to share the love this Valentine’s Day and ‘Say it with seafood’.

“Are you tired of the usual Valentine’s Day gifts? Don’t flounder for something out of the box when Aussie seafood is right under your nose. A dozen oysters or a posy of pippies would make the perfect present, and who wouldn’t want a leatherjacket?

“Oysters are always associated with Cupid’s big day, but why not dust off the fry pan, get in the kitchen and cook your Valentine an entire seafood platter?

“We all know seafood is touted as an aphrodisiac, and scientifically it’s true.

A recent study has shown couples are 39 per cent more likely to be intimate on days when they have both eaten seafood. And, those who ate at least two portions a week romped an average of eight times per month, compared to six times for those who ate less.

Seafood is  high in protein, and researchers say protein-rich seafood like tuna, sardines and salmon can improve your stamina.

“Aussie seafood is one of the cleanest and greenest protein sources in the world. So whether you’re picking a restaurant, cooking crab to serve at sunset, or making a last-minute dash to the shops for a gift to celebrate the international day of love, make sure you ‘Say it with seafood’,” said Lovell.

SIA happy with state of fisheries

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing Australia’s commercial fishing industry, is delighted that for the sixth consecutive year our solely Commonwealth managed fisheries are in great shape and being fished sustainably.

The release of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) ‘Fishery status reports 2019’ highlights the quality of Australia’s Commonwealth fisheries management.

“This is great news and is unprecedented internationally,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.
“The ‘Fishery status reports 2019’ provides an evaluation of 96 Australian commercial fish stocks.

READ MORE: Positive outlook for Australian fish stocks

“This positive report card given for the sixth consecutive year to Australia’s solely Commonwealth managed fisheries is the ultimate endorsement that Australia continues to be a leader in world class seafood, and sustainability.

“Australians should be proud of their seafood industry which provides fresh, high-quality seafood, year-round. “As fishers, our priority is the ocean. We advocate the health, sustainability and future of our ocean. It’s our livelihood and the future livelihood of generations to come.”

Australia’s commercial fishing industry announces outcome of national crisis

Representatives from Australia’s commercial fishing industry converged in Fremantle, WA to discuss the continued threats to the industry’s resource access, stemming from ongoing nationwide government intervention.

“We called today’s ‘Tipping Point’ meeting to discuss the widespread government interventions, reviews and reform processes bringing increased uncertainty to our industry, most prominent at the moment is the attack on the Western Rock Lobster Fishery” Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) CEO Jane Lovell said.

“What we have seen happen in Western Australia with regard to Western Rock Lobster and the McGowan Government’s move to issue licenses to itself, is unprecedented, we believe illegal and condemned by representatives at today’s meeting. This action dramatically devalues the local industry and has national consequences on property rights, not just within the seafood industry,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.

“Those present from fishing communities and families from throughout Australia clearly stated their support for the rock lobster fishers of WA in their battle against the unfair and unjust seizure of the fishery by the state of Western Australia. The result of that seizure would be to undermine sound fisheries management to the detriment of the whole Australian community,” Dr George Kailis, Executive Chair of the MG Kailis Group.

In an unprecedented showing of unity, industry leaders from every state and territory came together today and discussed pathways to address the constant erosion of our access to resources, and the devaluation and destabilisation of the commercial seafood industry around the nation. The meeting focused on establishing a long-term approach to provide greater security in access rights. The following resolutions were agreed upon:

  • We support the WA Rock Lobster industry in their battle to reject the unprecedented, unfair and unjust proposal to steal fishing access rights.
  • We reconfirm that security of fishing access rights is paramount to proper fisheries management, conservation and community benefit.
  • We commit to working more closely with the Australian community.
  • We will work to engage and educate our politicians for better community outcomes.

“Seafood Industry Australia was created to provide a united voice of the Australian seafood industry – to promote, protect and develop the industry,” said Lovell. “Today, we have just that. This tipping point meeting is the catalyst for the start of a unified industry approach for long-term, secure access rights for Australian fishing families and the Australian community at large.”