Eden Seafood Industry is bouncing back after a horror start to 2020. Eden is renowned for its mussels, seafood straight off the trawlers and the oysters that grow with the lakes to the south at Wonboyn and north in Pambula and Merimbula Lakes.
The start to 2020 has been an exceptionally hard one for so many of our businesses and the seafood industry is definitely no exception. With bushfires, highways closed, water quality issues and then Covid you all understand how this has impacted the industry. January saw the Sapphire Coast and many other areas evacuated and tourism restrictions in place saw the local sales of the local seafood. But, added to this was the fact that the Highway was closed to both north and south traffic.
Southlands Fish Supplies were closed for the first 3 weeks of the year. Their sales were down by 70% in January alone. Eventually roads opened to the west but all transport costs were greatly increased due to the longer hauls getting their products to Sydney and Melbourne.
Just when things were looking like getting back to a sense of normality, businesses were all closed down with the COVID-19 virus. Most producers were reaching their full capacity for the summer, school holiday and Easter trading periods, when restaurants and wholesalers that would have normally been taking these products they could no longer open or sell, leaving the producers and fishermen with no market.
Like all businesses, the fishing industry has ongoing costs despite no income, but thankfully there are the jobseeker payments to helped them to continue to pay staff to manage their fishery businesses.
On a positive note, the Eden Mussels been approved to grow multi species on their farm which means they are allowed to grow – scallops, kelp and akoya oysters. Southlands have been continuing to operate and are looking forward to a much better rest of 2020.
With businesses like restaurants opening up (all be it still in reduced capacity) they are slowly seeing things returning to normal. So when you are in Eden or out at a restaurant, café or at the supermarkets remember to buy local and or Australian sourced seafood.