The Marine Scalefish Fishery, its produce and producers are an important part of South Australia’s cultural heritage and food identity. The Marine Fishers Association represents the interest of 300+ family fishing business; many continuing the traditions their forbears brought to South Australia generations ago.
Many of South Australia’s world-renowned seafood industries evolved from the Marine Scalefish Fishery commonly known as ‘A-class licenses’. Fishing for Marine Scalefish varieties was an invaluable food source for both the indigenous communities and the free colony, with the first commercial produce exported to Tasmania in 1836. Scalefish production and produce expanded with techniques introduced by immigrants from the UK, Scandinavia, Greece and Italy. The diversity and complexity of the modern Marine Scalefish Fishery reflects this rich history.
Today there are over 60 scalefish species harvested commercially across South Australia. This diversity allows fishers to supply fresh produce to local markets all year round. For nearly 180 years, the fishery has supported invaluable employment chains across South Australia’s coastal communities. Today the production of iconic scalefish varieties contributes to South Australia’s growing reputation for premium fresh produce.
A range of traditional production methods were adapted and evolved to suit South Australia’s unique environment and local species. There are 21 different permitted ‘gear types’ which can be registered to a license. These gears prominently fall into broad category nets (haul, gill and seine), line (hand line, jigs and longline) traps / pots (fish, octopus and crab) and rakes (vongole).
The commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery services domestic markets only, providing the wider community access to fresh local seafood produce. The Marine Scalefish Fishery is a shared fishery resource managed under the principles of Ecological Sustainable Development (ESD). Primary Industry Regions South Australia (PIRSA) – Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture monitors and manages this community owned resource on behalf of all South Australians. South Australia is world leader in marine science and fisheries management, therefore by sourcing local seafood you are assured of premium product from our clean environment, and production is held to the highest environmental and ethical standards. For more information please click here