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Economic contribution of Tasmanian fisheries and aquaculture revealed for first time

New IMAS-led research into the economic value of Tasmania’s fisheries and aquaculture industries has revealed they contribute more than $1.5 billion to the Australian economy and create more than 11 600 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

The study found that within Tasmania, fisheries and aquaculture generated $1.15 billion and created almost 3000 direct FTE jobs and 5400 indirect jobs.

Through the Tasmanian seafood industry’s expenditure and indirect effects outside the State it contributed a further $364 million and supported 2844 indirect jobs nationally.

Macquarie Harbour salmon pensTasmania’s contribution to the national economy is the greatest of any jurisdiction, amounting to more than one quarter of the total economic contribution in dollar terms as well as in jobs created.

The project’s leader, Dr Emily Ogier, said this was the first time the economic contribution of Tasmania’s seafood industries has been reported at the state and national level.

“We've always known that Tasmania was a major player in fisheries and aquaculture relative to the other States, but we perhaps hadn't quite realized just how big its contribution was,” Dr Ogier said.

“It's clearly one of the sectors of the Tasmanian economy that really punches above its weight on the national stage.

“We calculated the Gross Value Added (GVA) of fisheries and aquaculture in Tasmania, which represents the value of all the goods and services they produced minus the cost of all inputs and raw materials.

“This kind of data is worth tracking over time because it can be used to understand the impact of economic or policy changes, global influences, or changes in the way fishing or aquaculture businesses operate.

“It's also important to know that these industries, which are accessing a public resource, are making a contribution to our economy, so it’s an important piece of information in the jigsaw puzzle involved in managing natural resources,” Dr Ogier said.

The report was funded by the Australian Government’s Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and carried out by BDO EconSearch.

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
November 14, 2019