This World Fisheries and National Agriculture Day (Wednesday, November 21) Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) is calling on the nation to recognise the hard work of our industry.
"Every year Australia's seafood industry puts more than one billion meals on the table, but we are often left out of the nation's agriculture narrative," SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.
"Australia's fishers do an important job putting food on our tables and it's time we are celebrated alongside our land-based cousins.
"Right now, 70 per cent of seafood eaten in Australia is imported and today as part of World Fisheries and National Agriculture Day, we call on Aussies to support their Aussies fishers and ask for Aussie seafood whether it's at their local fishmonger, fish and chip shop, or the local Thai restaurant.
"Australia's wild-caught fisheries are some of the best managed in the world. Our Commonwealth-managed fisheries have been given a tick of sustainability with no fisheries subject to overfishing for the fifth consecutive year; and a new report has shown the footprint of Australia's trawlers to be one of the smallest in the world. While our aquaculture sector provides fresh, high-quality seafood, year-round.
"As an industry, we recognise the great work the government has done to introduce mandatory Country of Origin Labelling for food sold in the retail sector. But, what we want is for the government to adopt legislation that will allow consumers to recognise Australian seafood and support the hard work of our fishers when they order meals from places like pubs, cafes and restaurants. This can be done by adopting mandatory seafood Country of Origin Labelling for the foodservice industry too.
"Commercial fishing is one of Australia's oldest and most diverse occupations with operations across wild-caught, aquaculture and postharvest. We are proud to be an industry that supports and includes first-Australians, ethnic Australians, immigrants and refugees. We are made up of generations of families working the same waters as their ancestors, along with a mix of men and women across all roles. We work in all of Australia's states and territories, and we love what we do.
"We all know Australians love to eat Australian seafood, and Australian's can be confident their Aussie seafood is exceptionally managed.
"As fishers, our priority is the ocean. We advocate the health, sustainability and future of our ocean. It's our livelihood and the future livelihood of generations to come."