Australia’s seafood industry has called for consumers to support their local lobster industry as it reels from the impacts of the Australia-China trade riff, and to support the entire industry by committing to switch one meal for Aussie seafood.
“It’s been a hard year for Australia’s seafood industry and now our lobster producers have been dealt another blow,” Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) CEO Veronica Papacosta said.
“As an industry, we’re calling on Aussies to switch one meal a week to Australian seafood in a bid to support our industry.
“If one per cent of the population committed to changing just one meal a week to locally sourced Australian seafood like prawns, salmon or snapper that would be more than 250,000 meals of Australian seafood on the table. For the festive season we’re asking consumers to change just one protein-meal to Australian seafood like our stunning rock lobster, a few dozen fresh oysters, a big, beautiful bowl of prawns or replace a roast with a whole, baked Australian fish. This could mean the difference between a fisher making or missing a mortgage payment, and a boat heading out of harbour or spending another week docked.
“Communities in lobster-producing areas, like Apollo Bay, VIC and Geraldton, WA are seeing greater access to Australian rock lobsters than they have in the past, but this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be cheap lobsters at every fish counter across the country.”
“The bulk of lobsters that were heading to China are live, but for the preference for the Aussie market is very much for fresh, cooked lobsters. We are working hard to cook and chill as much lobster as we can, but it’s just not infrastructure we currently have. We have a processing issue, and we are trying to pivot and fix it as fast as we can, so we can get our lobsters onto Australian family tables in time for Christmas. Our major supermarkets account for 60 percent of at-home seafood consumption sales. As drivers of volume, we’d love to hear from them about how they can help us get more Aussie lobsters onto tables,” Seafood Trade Advisory Group Chair Nathan Maxwell-McGinn said.
“To help people find Australian lobsters near them we’ve created a lobster function on our Great Australian Seafood Fish Finder that allows consumers to search by postcode for retailers stocking Australian lobsters near them. You can find it at www.greataustralianseafood.com.au/fish-finder and this will be updated over the course of the next few days,” Ms Papacosta said.
“We also need support from not just the community, but from the foodservice sector like restaurants, hotels, pubs and clubs. Our foodservice sector can access live Aussie lobsters through their wholesale distributers and know how to handle the cooking more easily than home consumers.”
NOTE: prices are dependent on location however can vary from $30 upwards for a whole lobster.
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