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Australia’s seafood industry has recorded a 30 per cent growth in seafood sales over the festive season, with prawns, rock oysters, crabs and bugs the most popular purchases throughout December.

Seafood Industry Australia said it was encouraging to see many Australians supporting their local seafood producers and hopes to see it continue.

“We’re hearing from retailers and producers right across the country that they’re up, on average, 30 per cent from last year’s December sales,” said SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta.

“We know this isn’t every retailer or producer, those who rely on cross-border trade and exports weren’t as fortunate, but we’ve heard countless reports of queues forming at 6am and people waiting very patiently for one-two hours to support their local producers; and we thank you.”

Australian Rock Lobsters were a “very welcome as a table centrepiece” in 2020, with independent and major retailers, including Coles and Woolworths, selling many across the country to both consumers and foodservice outlets.

“This 2020 surprise Christmas hit was made possible thanks to the major retailers, Woolworths and Coles, and our fantastic network of independent retailers all chipping in to help us get more Aussie seafood onto Aussie tables, including the coveted $20 Western Rock Lobsters,” said Papacosta.

‘While we’ve had wonderful festive sales, this doesn’t mean we’re completely in the clear, but this goes a long way to help. Our key foodservice and export markets are still trending down, and as an industry we continue to be impacted by the ongoing trade riff with China.”

In December, the SIA called on consumers to switch one meal a week to Australian seafood, as the local lobster industry reels from the impacts of the nation’s trade tensions with China.

SIA also launched the first national flagship brand for the seafood sector in November, to drive a generational shift towards increased seafood consumption.

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