The South Eastern Times : February 16th 2017
NEWS 15 Seafood in high export demand THE region’s multi-million dollar southern rock lobster industry is booming due to buoyant export demand and new markets opening up from Australia’s free trade deal with China. The welcome news comes as professional lobster fishers at Beachport and Southend bring their pots ashore having caught their quota for the 2016/17 season. It ends on May 31 but the vast majority of the 181 licence holders in the Southern Zone will be finished fishing well before then given the strong overseas demand for their prized catches. Based at Port MacDonnell, Five Star Seafoods company spokesperson William Ferguson - whose family operates Ferguson Australia - said the company had just recorded its biggest export volume month. He said this was fuelled by Chinese New Year celebrations and steady global demand leading up to this date. “The catches haven’t been great, but because we have had such great weather the fishermen haven’t had many days off - the supply has been steady,” Mr Ferguson told The South Eastern Times. Leading up to the Chinese New Year, he said prices jumped to $90/ kg for commercial fishers given the high demand for southern rock lobster. “The Chinese predominately want the lobsters that are under a kilogram for their wedding market, which starts as of Chinese New Year,” Mr Ferguson said. “Our number one market is the Chinese wedding market.” Given the premium quality of the product, he said Five Star Seafoods had now established a reputation as one of the world’s leading southern rock lobster exporters. “Because we are predominantly focused on the southern and Port MacDonnell ports, we get a good percentage of the smaller lobsters, which the customers prefer,” Mr Ferguson said. “Five Star Seafoods has always been known as one of the best, if not the best, brands of southern rock lobster.” He said the Chinese viewed ADVERTISEMENT GREAT DEMAND: Ferguson Australia sales director William Ferguson holds a huge king crab, which will be exported to global markets from the Five Star Seafoods facility at Port MacDonnell. southern rock lobster as the best in the world. Regarding the China free trade agreement, Mr Ferguson said the deal would open new opportunities and drive efficiencies for exporters. He said the free trade arrangement meant exporters could now deliver the product directly into the market, cutting travel time. “The customers pay a very high price for our product in relative terms, so we want to make sure the product gets there in the best form possible.” He said the new agreement would cut the trip from Australia to major Chinese cities - such as Shanghai and Beijing - from 36 to 15 hours. “The agreement also allows us to access customers we didn’t have access to due to the high tariffs,” Mr Ferguson said. Previously exporters had to navigate through the “grey trade”, which limited the customer base. “The new trade agreement allows us to explore further markets and customers because we can now go directly to the market,” he said. “By this time next year, we should be predominately accessing the market directly.” He said the shorter travelling time was also expected to reduce mortally rates of lobster and ensure a better quality product. “The new trade deal will make the best use of the resource.” 12th March, 2017 (Adelaide Cup Long Weekend) on the Port MacDonnell Foreshore, Sea Parade 11am - 8pm Info, enquiries & site applications to - firstname.lastname@example.org 710177 Mount Gambier & District Community Bank® Branch Sunday, PUBLIC comment has been invited on a proposal to erect three additional sculptures for the Beachport lagoon parkland area at Centenary Park. An application has been recently lodged with Wattle Range Council by Pam Hales on behalf of the Beachport District Development Association. The closing date for comments about the mixed media sculptures is February 28. Since the beginning of 2013, the Beachport lagoon parkland area has been transformed into a walk of art, showcasing the talent and creativity of South East residents. Coastal sculpture feedback sought The lagoon’s walking track is now known as the Sculpture Walk and exhibits the work of students, artists and the broader community while introducing visitors to a world of nature, culture and art. Among the exhibits are a flock of brightly coloured birds, a giant bird’s nest, a magic jetty, a wind tap and a global fish. Sculptures were created by a group of seaside artists, who joined forces with French sculptor Dume Paolini and his partner Celine Gorget. The project was called From One Side to the Other and it aimed to build a cultural connection between Beachport and France. CHANGE OF DATE Mobile Phone coverage forum with TONY PASIN MP Federal Member for Barker Kalangadoo Footy Club 27 Commercial Street East, Mount Gambier SA 5290 Tony.Pasin.MP@aph.gov.au tonypasin.com www.thesoutheasterntimes.com.au Monday 20 February 5:30pm 8724 7730 TonyPasinMP 710118 The South Eastern Times, Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 15 Local call 1300 723 935 Authorised by T Pasin, 27 Commercial St East, Mount Gambier SA 5290.
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