Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled Paper 3223
Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
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.
provide the essential requirements for the cultivation of spirulina. It is expected that the company will commence cultivation by December 1997 and is expected to export 25 tonnes of spirulina at $45 per kilogram to Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and China during 1998. Volume of production and prices for the fledgling exotic tropical fruits like durian, jackfruit, guavas, star apples and others have also increased. New plantings of durian, mangosteen and long kong are also being established by private growers. On the whole, the relative stage of development of the Territorys horticulture industry together with specific natural advantages augers well for future expansion. Favourable climatic conditions, maintenance of disease-free status, improving product quality, concerted marketing efforts and unrestricted access to domestic and international markets will underpin further industry growth in the future. Fishing The Northern Territory fishing industry comprises commercial, recreational and traditional sectors. The commercial sector includes the harvesting of wild stock fisheries (dominated by prawns) and aquaculture (dominated by high quality pearl production), plus the processing, trade and retailing of seafood. The aquaculture of species other than pearls is in the developmental stage, with barramundi and prawns being grown commercially in 1996 and research continuing on the aquaculture potential of mud crabs and golden snapper. Continued emphasis is being placed on the ongoing management of all aquatic resources and by the end of 1997 all major fisheries will have been placed under formal management plans. Figure 10.4 shows Territory fishing industry production from 1989 to 1996. The significant increase in 1992 reflects two factors. Prior to that year prawns were valued on the basis of landing at Territory ports rather than on the basis of location of catch. Secondly, the category Other previously excluded aquaculture, of which pearl production is a significant component. A preliminary estimate of the value of production of the Territorys commercial fishing industry is $98.1 million in 1996. Of this, wild stock prawns and pearl farming are estimated to account for 77%. The value of production for 1996 decreased 12% from the previous year, principally due to a 41% drop in the value of prawn production. The decline in the value of the prawn catch in the 1996 season was due to lower rainfall in the 1995-96 wet season. An improvement in the 1997 catch is expected due to more favourable rainfall. Effective management of fisheries is an integral component of the Territorys long-term resource use strategy. In recent years a number of important management changes have occurred in fisheries within Territory waters. After substantial voluntary reduction of fishing effort in the Rural Industries and Fisheries 62