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Seafood to soar at Easter

seafoodAustralians are anticipated to spend $24.4 million on seafood over Easter this year, 3.4 per cent more than 2013, while consumption is projected to increase by 20 per cent on the previous year, according to IbisWorld.

This will provide the fishing industry a brief reprieve from the difficult trading conditions it has faced over the past five years due to stricter catchment regulations and dwindling fish stocks.

Karen Dobie, GM of IbisWorld Australia, says increasing non-denominational and multi-faith participation in Good Friday celebrations is driving growth in seafood consumption over Easter.

Increased consumption over Easter mirrors higher seafood consumption overall. Seafood consumption is expected to reach 19.4 kilograms per capita in 2013-14, up from 17.6 kilograms in 2008-9. This represents an average annual increase of 360 grams per capita over the past five years.

“Health consciousness, waning demand for red meat and poultry, and more seafood options have  been the key drivers of demand,” says Dobie.

“Australians are increasingly turning to fish, which are one of the best sources of omega-3 and low-fat  protein, as an alternative to beef, lamb and chicken. Over the past decade, Australian tastes and diets have shifted from the traditional meat and three vegetables to incorporate greater variations and  experimentation.

“Salmonoids, which include Atlantic salmon and trout, are currently the most popular fish type  consumed by Australians. However, the popularity of basa is increasing, largely due to the fish’s  neutral flavour, low pricepoint and boneless fillets. Basa now accounts for one third of frozen fish  imports.”

Despite higher fish and seafood consumption, cheap imports are constraining revenue growth in the Fish and Seafood Wholesaling industry, which IbisWorld forecasts will grow at 1.1 per cent per annum over
the next five years.

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