Budget Paper 1994-95 No.6 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled Paper 2156
Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Barry Coulter
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Rural Industries and Fisheries Figure 10.4 shows Territory fishing industry production from 1986 to 1993. The significant increase from 1992 reflects two factors. From that year prawns have been valued on the basis o f location o f catch, rather than on the basis o f landings at Territory ports. Secondly, Other now includes aquaculture, o f which estimated pearl production is a significant component. Commercial prawn farm harvesting commenced operations in 1992. During 1993, the development process was improved contributing to an expected harvest in 1994 o f 100 tonnes. Fish landings o f 2 443 tonnes were valued at $8.7 million in 1993, a rise in value o f 2.5% on the previous year. Landings o f barramundi, gold band snapper and threadfin salmon all increased substantially. Mud crab landings also increased, up 17% to 226 tonnes valued at $2.4 million. Effective management o f the wild harvest fishery resources is an integral component o f the Territorys long-term ecologically sustainable resource-use strategy. Within the Northern Prawn Fishery (managed by the Commonwealth), further reduction in vessel numbers took place in April 1993 and there are now 125 vessels remaining in the fishery. M anagement o f the barram undi-threadfin salmon fishery has likewise necessitated the introduction o f gear restrictions, seasonal closure and minimum size limits in recent years. In addition to closures o f the Daly and Roper Rivers, a section o f the Victoria River was closed to commercial fishing in 1992. Management plans have also been introduced for the Northern Territory mud crab, Spanish mackerel and pearl oyster fisheries. A management plan for the pearl culture industry is being prepared for public comment. Fishing Outlook Fishery resources with growth potential in the short to medium term include offshore demersal trawl, the trap and dropline fisheries, the shark fishery and the trepang fishery. Long term prospects exist in aquaculture, particularly prawn and barramundi farming. While seasonal conditions and market price fluctuations can be unpredictable, demand for quality sea food, particularly prawns, from countries in the Asian region can be expected to remain buoyant in light o f consumer preferences and growing per capita incomes. Demand from markets in southern Australia for fresh fish, particularly golden band snapper and barramundi, is also strong, although to date the potential o f these markets has not been fully exploited. Industry expansion will result from concerted marketing efforts and continued development o f regional fisheries to satisfy both overseas and domestic demand. 62