Open Letter from the Queensland commercial fishing industry

Posted in Industry News

Dear Queensland Seafood Lovers

Who would have thought that food rationing would ever be in our future or that supermarkets would ever be devoid of staples that have always been a given for generations? We all eagerly look forward to the community returning to “normal” with shelves stocked and business prospering. However, the current shortages being experienced across the food supply chain prompts deeper concerns that many Queensland consumers will, in the future, see continued shortages in the supply of Queensland wild caught seafood, not from illness but as a direct result of Queensland Government Policy.

The seafood industry is extremely passionate about food security. We take this very seriously and consider our seafood producing boats and businesses as playing a key role in providing an accessible renewable high protein resource – fish from the sea. For decades fishermen have raised the importance of food security at Government level, but it certainly appears that this is not a priority, when the Queensland Government’s Sustainable Fisheries reform is in fact reducing the availability of local seafood, a community resource for local seafood lovers to buy and enjoy.

The logistics of long-distance food haulage highlights the absolute essential role that reliable locally based food producers play in the health and wellbeing of their community.  In times of crisis, and in good times, the community can rely on their local regional food producers, our commercial fishermen and farmers, to keep working and providing access to fresh food.  We can assure you we are doing just that every day of every year.  There is nothing more we love to do, than being on the ocean and bringing home fresh healthy seafood to feed the community. It is our job!

Contrary to the myth that the best seafood is being exported, the majority of the catch is destined for the Australian domestic market and has been for years. Our commercial fishermen live and work in Queensland waters and unload their catches at a regional wharf or boat ramp somewhere along the coast from  the NSW border to Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

There are many options for consumers to secure some of this fine quality seasonal seafood. Since COVID19 hit our shores, fishermen too have adapted their distribution and seafood lovers are welcome to wharves to shop direct from the fisherman on the boat,  at community markets, roadside vendors along with the more traditional  retailers and eateries.

Each fishery and region offer a unique seafood experience. For more information where to source Queensland seafood, check out the seafood locator (https://qsia.com.au/seafood-locator/) or sign up to our email list [email protected].

On behalf of our fishing families, we are asking you to shop local, from a local producer in your region and encourage you to include some of the healthy, sustainable wild Queensland Catch on your regular shopping list throughout the year.

Our pledge to you is to continue to fish and keep you informed on availability.  Thank you for choosing local caught seafood and supporting a Queensland small business.

Catch you later

Authors: Elaine Lewthwaite, QSIA Project Officer

Image: Sienna Green, Queensland commercial fisher

The content of this post is provided for information purposes only and unless otherwise stated is not formal QSIA policy. The information on these posts are provided on the basis that all persons accessing the information undertake their own responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of it.

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