Hobart-based fisheries company, Australian Longline, is now exporting Patagonian toothfish to India.
The export deal represents a first for the Antarctic fisheries company. It is also the first time that the ultra-premium fish has been supplied to Indian markets from Australian-managed waters.
Sam Freeman, Trade and Investment Commissioner for Austrade in Bengaluru, says the prized toothfish has good prospects in India.
‘We think there is growing potential for premium Australian seafood items in Indian markets,’ he says.
Sustainable fishing in Antarctic waters
Australian Longline is the only Australian company fishing for Patagonian toothfish in Antarctic waters. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority monitors catches to ensure stocks are sustainable.
Austrade’s Mumbai-based staff helped Australian Longline at multiple points in its export journey. This included making introductions in India, helping find an importer and monitoring payment for the first export order.
Australia diversifies seafood exports
Freeman says that the breakthrough sale shows the steady diversification of Australian seafood exports.
‘Australia exports about half of its annual fisheries and aquaculture production by value,’ he says. ‘Exporters specialise in high-value products for fast-growing markets in Asia.’
Australia exports $1.4–1.5 billion of fisheries and aquaculture each year, according to data from the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Much of this is premium seafood. In 2019–20, Australian companies exported $543 million-worth of rock lobster.
Austrade helps local fisheries hook up with Indian importers
Freeman says Austrade is helping to increase the profile of Australian seafood in India. In this case, Austrade identified multiple customer opportunities. Advisers also worked with Australia-based TradeStart representatives to connect with potential exporters.
‘We made introductions and organised videoconferences between Longline and 3 potential importers in Mumbai,’ he says.
The importer is Mumbai-based Sweet Stuff. The company also imports Barramundi fillet and Mulwarra lamb from Australia.
Freeman reports the food and beverage (F&B) market in India is buoyant – especially for premium products.
‘Austrade South Asia is exploring opportunities for Australian F&B clients,’ he says. ‘We see prospects in multiple F&B categories. This includes wine, horticulture, dairy and commodities.’