Australia's seafood industry is expecting farmed salmon, prawns and oysters to help lift the sector back into positive territory after coronavirus and trade disruptions.
Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences reveals production value is forecast to slide six per cent in 2020-21 to $2.9 billion.
But thanks largely to a projected uplift in aquaculture production, overall industry values are set to climb again - at an average annual rate of 1.6 per cent to 2025-26 - with export values also on the up.
"The impact of COVID-19 has been complex, disrupting usual trade, particularly for highly export orientated products, such as rock lobster and abalone," ABARES fisheries and aquaculture forecaster Robert Curtotti said.
"However, we are seeing signs that recovery is imminent, and the expected growth of aquaculture is set to contribute positively to industry overall.
"Products focused on the home market are expected to do better over the outlook period than those focused on exports.
"Salmonid production is expected to grow at a yearly average of 4.4 per cent, reaching $1.1 billion in production value by 2025-26 and accounting for 35 per cent of the industry's entire value of production that year.
"Other aquaculture species expected to see growth include prawns, oysters, abalone, and other finfish varieties including barramundi and kingfish."
Between 2021-22 and 2025-26, real export value is projected to rise by 1.8pc to $1.4b, with an average annual growth of 0.4pc.
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