The salmon farming area of Tasmania has cut itself off from mainland Australia.
The Guardian reports that the Australian government is to allocate AUD 110m to restart Australia’s seafood export trade – stalled because of the coronavirus, grounded flights and travel bans.
It will do so by creating a new freight assistance mechanism to try to recommence local shipments to China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Scott Morrison’s government is appointing Michael Byrne, a former managing director of logistics companies Toll Holdings and Linfox, as coordinator general of international freight. Byrne will work with Austrade, the industry and freight forwarders to work out how freight flights can operate in the current restricted environment.
Salmon farmers are feeling the effects, as last Friday, Tasmania state premier Peter Gutwein declared a state of emergency in the island and that the “toughest border restrictions in Australia” reported the Mercury.
Talking to ABC, salmon farmer Petuna, said that sales of salmon have dropped by an estimated 40 per-cent because of the coronavirus.
In terms of exports, Japan used to account for the majority of Australia’s fishery exports, but rising Chinese incomes increased the demand for Tasmanian salmon up until it collapsed.
The COVID-19 outbreak is expected to result in a reduction of exports to China, leaving Tasmanian salmon farmers producers in search of “new export market opportunities of the year, wrote Export Finance Australia, a government website.