Australian seafood availability this Christmas

17-Dec-2018 2:53 PM

“Moreton Bay Bugs have been plentiful from Queensland and are being a huge hit this year as a cheaper option. Higher than usual demand has been seen by retailers. Expect a price of $34 per kg, Katherine Winchester CEO of the Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC) said.

Jane Lovell, CEO, Seafood Industry Australia (SIA)

  • “Whether you’re throwing a prawn on the barbie, ordering some snapper with beer batter or grilling your barra to perfection remember to ‘Ask for Aussie Seafood’ this Christmas,” Jane Lovell CEO of Seafood Industry Australia said.
  • “Australia’s commercial fishers are working hard in the lead up to the festive period to ensure we have access to a wide variety of world class seafood for Christmas.
  • “While the variety of Australian seafood on offer this Christmas period is endless, prawns are traditionally the biggest seller.
  • “Australians are expected to eat 40 per cent of our yearly prawn consumption during the festive season. On average, 11 prawns are eaten by each man, woman and child.
  • “To ensure you don’t miss out on your Aussie seafood this festive season it’s always a good idea to place an order with your fishmonger early.
  • “If you want to be certain you’re eating sustainable, healthy, world-class seafood this Christmas, ‘Ask for Aussie seafood’.”

Marshall Betzel, president, Queensland Seafood Marketers Association (QSMA)

  • “In Queensland we've had a bumper season of King and Tiger prawns. Together with good catches of Moreton Bay Bugs in the last few months, all of which, by virtue of volume, will be available at very affordable prices this year,” Marshall Betzel president of the Queensland Seafood Marketers Association said.
  • “Any comments in relation to the poor weather Queensland is currently experiencing bears no impact to the seafood consumers will be buying for Christmas, because a lot the product is snap-frozen, prepared and already ready for display.  
  • “We have had a bumper season for Queensland scallops, which aren’t really iconic Christmas foods, but let me tell you, people should consider a dozen half-shell scallops baked in a hot oven with some butter and garlic; delicious. Their is an abundance of them and they are very good value.”

Annie Jarrett, CEO, Northern Prawn Fishery Pty Ltd (NPFI)

  • “We’ve have a solid banana prawn season with tonnage around 4600 tonnes of bananas, which are mostly in the Coles/Woolies cabinets and readily available in the deli at Christmas,” Annie Jarrett CEO of the Northern Prawn Fishery said.
  • “Good buying at the moment at around $20.00/kg in supermarkets for green banana prawns.
  • “Both NPF species of tiger and green banana prawns are MSC certified so should be sought after by consumers.”


Kim Hooper, Executive Officer, Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA)

  • “There are plenty of fresh Aussie farmed prawns for Christmas,” Kim Hooper executive officer of the Australian Prawn Farmers Association said.
  • “The prawn farm industry has been going ahead with increased capacity across the industry
  • “We expect increased supply over Christmas 2018 and as such farm gate pricing to be at similar levels.
  • “We are suppliers not retailers and don’t set the prices in the stores
  • “There are a range of sizes and prices so I think it pays to shop around your reputable seafood outlets – I am sure there are bargains to be had.”

Johnathon Davey, Executive Director, Seafood Industry Victoria (SIV)

  • “We fully expect a bumper season of supply and consumer demand across the Victorian seafood industry,” Johnathon Davey executive director of Seafood Industry Victoria said.
  • “There is no suggestion from suppliers of any shortage of the ‘Christmas traditional’ seafood lines.
  • “In fact we urge consumers to try something different this Christmas. Some fresh Bream from Gippsland, some Rainbow Trout or Barramundi - anything fresh and local will be a winner!
  • “There are no expectations of price fluctuation in the lead up to Christmas.”


John Harrison, CEO, Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC)

  • “A common misconception about WA seafood is that it is all expensive and that can turn a lot of families away from enjoying our local produce,”John Harrison CEO of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) said.
  • “There will always be the highly prized and more iconic Western Australian species such as abalone and the Western Rock Lobster, but families can also choose more moderately priced options for their Christmas meals including Mandurah mullet, Albany and Fremantle sardines, or Cone Bay barramundi.
  • “Speaking to retailers there are plenty of delicious prawns from Exmouth and Shark Bay, Shark Bay and Abrolhos Island scallops and line-caught fish from the South-West including redfish on offer this year.
  • “We are fortunate enough to be able to have access and enjoy sustainable, safe and fresh seafood. But in order for that to continue we need to ensure that we are supporting our local industry by purchasing locally caught.”

Katherine Winchester, CEO, Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC)

  • “Supply has been fantastic and consistent with fishers meeting retailer demand and variety,” Katherine Winchester CEO of the Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC) said.
  • “Moreton Bay Bugs have been plentiful from Queensland and are being a huge hit this year as a cheaper option. Higher than usual demand has been seen by retailers. Expect a price of $34 per kg.
  • “On the last trading day before Christmas retailers see more whole fish being purchases with consumers needs being varied. Cheaper smaller portions include:  NT caught whole Crimson Snapper and Saddletail both ranging from $16 - $17 per kg and Goldband Snapper about $17 -18 per kilo. Larger whole-fish like Red Emperor are sitting around the 2kg up to 4kg mark for about $22-24 per kg. However, a more affordable whole-fish that is popular with some Territorians is the Mouth Mackerel and Scad for around $14 per kg - this is not always available and will be dependent on the fisher’s caches.
  • Still popular on tables are:
    • Barra’ wings - $10.50 per kg.
    • Coffin Bay Oysters - $22 per dozen
    • Prawns - Tiger $43 and banana $38 per kilo
  • Unusually popular product this year, in high demand and supply is scallop meat at $50 per kilo.
  • “Consumers have been looking for NT Mud Crab and stocks have thinned out at the start of December as most professional crabbers have finished for the season. Demand is out weighted by supply, and there is a very limited supply which this week is pricing at $43 per kg, live.
  • “If unsure, consumer should always ask their fishmonger about the difference in prawns. Banana prawns are sweeter and softer, while tigers are saltier and firm.”