Seafood exports under threat

SOUTH Australia's seafood exports are under threat, according to representatives from the South Australian Rock Lobster Advisory Council.

South Australia's seafood exports are under threat, according to the SA Rock Lobster Advisory Council.

South Australia's seafood exports are under threat, according to the SA Rock Lobster Advisory Council.

The council's executive officer Justin Phillips said the state government had contradictory policies about seafood production and marine conservation.

Mr Phillips said no-take sanctuary zones, due to come into place from October, would seriously threaten the $250 million seafood export industry in South Australia.

He said the commercial fishing industry was "bemused" by the state government identifying "premium food and wine from our clean environment" as one of the state's seven strategic priorities.

"On the one hand, the government says that world demand for food will rise by 70 per cent by 2050 and that premium food production is a major growth area for the SA economy," he said.

"On the other hand, they have taken aim at seafood producers and commercial fishers who will be locked out of vitally important areas which sustainably produce significant quantities of high-value export food products, without any scientific evidence."

He said his industry was "staggered" by the current state government's marine park policy, which he said was "completely at odds with its desire to grow the state's production of premium food."

Mr Phillips said the fishing industry agreed with the state government on the potential upside for premium food production, particularly to growing Asian markets which already regard South Australian seafood as among the best in the world due to pristine oceans which have been sustainably managed for generations.

But he said the state could miss out on those opportunities if the government proceeded with its current plan to establish the no-take sanctuary zones.

Jay Weatherill made recent announcements about marine park management, including an extra $4 million in funding.

He said the state "won't have a healthy fishing industry without a healthy marine environment."

"Under Labor's plan for marine parks, our seafood industry will be marketing its products as coming from clean, green seas in marine parks."

This story Seafood exports under threat first appeared on Port Lincoln Times.