Seafood contributes to Australia’s food security

5th March 2013

Fears of a food crisis and violence were re-ignited internationally in August 2010 when the worst drought in 100 years destroyed a third of Russia’s grain crop, prompting the government to ban wheat exports. This move to protect domestic supplies and keep prices low encouraged the Ukraine and Kazakhstan to follow suit. Subsequently, typhoons hit the rice paddy fields in the Philippines and bad weather affected crops in China, Indonesia and other key producers. Prices for rice escalated. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) tracks the volatility of food prices and their threat to food security. The FAO’s Food Price Index hit an all-time high in December 2010, prompting the organisation to warn of the danger of a food crisis.
Australia will continue to position itself as a net exporter of food but even Australia is not immune from the threat of food insecurity. The recent Queensland floods wiped out crops and increased food prices in Australia.
Australia’s oceans, and the seafood they produce, are a valuable contributor to Australia’s food security but at times this is forgotten. As the Australian community continues to realise how sustainable their fisheries are, the Association hopes their contribution to Australia’s food security will be better recognised.