Canberra Exporter Hooks China Market


6 July 2016

There is a saying: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’.

This sentiment is at the heart of local business Uarah Fisheries’ future plans and its current international success.

Uarah Fisheries is a ACT based aquaculture business producing Murray cod for local and export markets. It uses cutting-edge technology to enhance productivity and ensure the quality of the fish it farms.

It has recently broken into the Chinese market with the sale of fingerlings and has also begun exporting to Singapore.

“Environmental changes and over-fishing are impacting on traditional fishing and fish husbandry will become vital in ensuring our fish stocks can be maintained and meet demand in the future,” Uarah Fisheries Director, Dr John Yu explained.

Domestically, Uarah breeds Murray cod for restocking into the wild, but there is growing demand both locally and internationally for table fish.

“Asian customers believe in the quality of Australian fish,” Dr Yu said. “The Murray cod is an excellent table fish and has great potential in Asia. To promote this fish in China, we have especially created dishes in collaboration with local restaurants for potential customers. We arrange for them to enjoy a meal with Murray cod and they tell me they can instantly taste how good it is.”

With the help of Canberra Business Chamber and Austrade’s Tradestart program, Uarah Fisheries has begun exporting fingerlings, which are then grown locally.

“We are talking about exporting a live animal and there was a lot we had to do to get export ready. Without the assistance of the Chamber and Larry from Tradestart it would have taken us much longer and we would not have been able to send our first shipments this season.”

While Uarah is currently exporting Murray cod fingerlings, its involvement does not cease once the fish are shipped. It works closely with customers to help them develop modern aquaculture infrastructure in which they can raise the fingerlings.

“We partner with local farms to provide support and help them grow,” Dr Yu said. “We do this by providing access to farming knowledge and technology and even helping secure capital investment.”

Uarah believes being based in the ACT has been key to their success. “The assistance we were provided and the access we have here to government departments and resources is very important. As the capital of Australia, our overseas partners also respect our city.”

With direct international flights to Singapore due to start shortly, Dr Yu believes this will strengthen the Canberra Region’s capacity to export. “By reducing transport time, we can better control quality. The ACT has many excellent producers who could find Asian markets more open to them in the future.”

“I would strongly recommend that any business thinking about exporting contact Tradestart and Canberra Business Chamber straight away. They can help you navigate the system, understand the steps you need to take and connect you with the right people.”

For information please head to TradeStart.

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