Western Australia casts online net to catch new seafood exports

 Western Australia’s Fishing Industry Council is taking advantage of video-conference technology and changing market conditions to secure new export opportunities and business partners for the State’s commercial seafood industry.

The inaugural Western Australian Virtual Seafood Showcase, held on Friday 28 August, brought together eight of the State’s successful seafood exporters for a series of one-on-one presentations with Taiwan’s leading seafood importers.

The virtual event was jointly managed by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) in Taipei and the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council in Fremantle.

This online business introduction and business-matching service brought together leading seafood importers, wholesalers and restaurateurs in Taiwan seeking high quality premium products from Western Australia including Saucer Scallops, Greenlip, Brownlip and Roei Abalone, Western Rock  and Southern Rock Lobster, ocean-caught Tiger, King and Banana prawns, deep sea crab varieties, Mantis Shrimp and Scampi.

Austrade Business Development Manager, Jennifer Chen said Taiwan has historically been a reliable and trusted trading partner for Western Australian seafood.

“I am excited to see these business opportunities with Western Australia develop and being given a renewed life in these challenging times.

“With high quality products and workable flights from Perth, some of the world’s best seafood is only a few hours away from Taiwan restaurant tables, and with favourable exchange rates and trading conditions local buyers are keen to establish long-term trade agreements,” Jennifer noted.

Western Australia’s Fishing Industry Council chief executive, Alex Ogg said while trade deals are always at the heart of these events, it is also very important to build strong, enduring relationships.

“Western Australia is world renowned for its pristine waters and high-quality seafood products, so it’s encouraging to see these leading Taiwanese buyers recognising the value of our ocean produce.

“Western Australia’s fishing industry is keen to diversify and expand its export markets and to better showcase its world-class seafood. We are very proud of our sustainability record, especially those commercial fisheries which have been formally recognised and certified through the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC),” he said.

MSC-certification ensures consumers can trust the source and sustainability of their seafood.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how these meetings progress and help us re-connect and strengthen our Taiwanese partnering relationships.

“COVID-19 restrictions have seen the development and uptake of virtual business introductions. We greatly appreciate the professional and proactive support from Austrade Taipei and look forward to further meetings and successful business engagement,” Alex added.

WAFIC will be using this Taipei event as the benchmark and template for potential future virtual market and buyer introductions via Austrade and other government and private entities.