Call for consumers to switch one meal for Aussie seafood

With uncertainty over international trade, the WA Fishing Industry Council and Seafood Industry Australia are calling for Australian consumers to become more self-reliant by committing to switch one meal for Aussie seafood.

The campaign is designed to reduce Australia’s reliance on exports sales and support the local seafood industry, many of which are the lifeblood of regional centres along the coast.

Seafood Industry Australia CEO Veronica Papacosta said that a small change can make a very big difference.

“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,” she said.

WA Fishing Industry Council CEO, Darryl Hockey said there was already a growing wave of support for local seafood products with consumers seeking and buying more local produce.

“Historically our research has shown locals have a preference for homegrown WA seafood, but this hasn’t always translated at the cash register. But through these uncertain times we are seeing positive changes with growth in the sales of local products across a wide range of seafood products,” Darryl said.

The sales trends are being noted across retail sales and food service sectors like restaurants, cafes and pubs, with more promoting local seafood on their menus.

Recently changed rules allowing lobster fishers to sell crayfish right off the back of their boats is also proving to be a winner.

“Our partners at Western Rock Lobster Council need to be commended on the work they are doing to promote back-of-boat sales as this is not only boosting local sales, but also developing a new and engaging experience for consumers and visitors where they can talk with the fishers and learn about the lobsters and the industry while buying super-fresh crayfish.

“Back of boat sales are proving extremely popular and I expect this type of experience will become an ongoing and iconic part of WA’s seafood industry,” Darryl said.

Local sales are also being supported by a number of supermarket chains, with lobsters on sale for under $20 and WA prawns for under $17 a kilo.

To help people find Australian fish and lobsters near them, Seafood Industry Australia has launched its Great Australian Seafood Fish Finder website that allows consumers to search by postcode for retailers stocking Australian lobsters near them. You can find it at the Great Australian Fish finder website.