Member for Barker Tony Pasin has welcomed a grant of just over $885,000 from the Federal Government for Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) to develop and expand markets for Australian seafood exports.

Mr Pasin said the grant would develop and deliver the industry’s Export Market Strategic Plan by focusing on expanding into new markets, and markets with high growth potential.

“A key part of the plan is investigating and analysing new potential markets, such as North Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the Americas with rock lobster and abalone a key focus, meaning our local South East Rock Lobster Industry is poised to benefit,” Mr Pasin said.

SIA will engage two Trade Export Managers to build capacity for seafood exporters across Australia allowing for greater interaction with potential consumers.

“There are swathes of consumers out there in new and emerging markets who want to enjoy seafood that is sustainably caught, clean and green, and this is an opportunity to connect with them,” Mr Pasin.

The grant will also go towards promoting the Great Australian Seafood brand under brand Australia. By working in partnership with Austrade, SIA will assist in the design a promotion schedule for Australian seafood in export markets.

“By building up the Great Australian Seafood brand, we can tell the rest of the world what we already know – that Australian seafood is the best in the world.” Mr Pasin said.

Mr Pasin said the program would also create a one-stop-shop for seafood exporters for information, resources and databases with SIA planning to create a digital platform that will curate all the resources in one place.

Nathan Kimber, Executive Officer of the South Eastern Professional Fishermen’s Association welcomed the news of the funding that would benefits for the local rock lobster industry.

“The grant is welcome news for the rock lobster industry in the south east, that has dealt with a range of market disruptions and operational uncertainties over the past 18 months.”

“The project will provide support for market diversification and market re-entry strategies that will build resilience in the supply chain and most importantly will expose new consumers to one of finest products in the world,” Mr Kimber said.