The Government announced its new strategy for the aquaculture industry that aims for it to grow into a $3 billion industry by 2035.
Speaking at the NZ Aquaculture Conference, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said the Government will work alongside the industry to deliver economic growth and jobs for the regions as part of an ambitious goal.
He also congratulated the industry on its work to grow the sector and New Zealand’s reputation for sustainable, healthy, and high-value products.
“The strategy will build on that foundation, setting out a plan for Government to support the industry over the next seven years, built around objectives and actions needed to realise a productive, sustainable, resilient, and inclusive aquaculture industry,” the minister said.
He added that aquaculture significantly contributes to regional development. Last year, the industry generated more than $600 million in revenue and employed 3000 people.
“The strategy looks to maximise the performance and value of the existing inshore farm footprint and to enable the industry to sustainably extend farming into the open ocean and into modern land-based facilities,” the minister said.
“Also at the heart of the strategy is sustainability. It sets actions to make aquaculture more sustainable, reduce waste and emissions across aquaculture production, and plan for how the industry adapts to climate change.
He added that the Government will partner with “Māori to ensure their values and aspirations are provided for as we plan for open ocean farming.
“We will work with Te Ohu Kaimoana and iwi to ensure that the aquaculture settlement remains fair and equitable and to assist iwi to effectively participate in the opportunities presented.”
New Zealand King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne described the new strategy as a gamechanger.
“I think it endorses aquaculture as an industry of the future,” Rosewarne was quoted as saying by TVNZ.
The New Zealand Aquaculture Strategy would also focus on:
- the development of sustainable open ocean and land-based farming
- increasing farm efficiency
- increasing product value and environmental performance in existing inshore farming
- building resilience to environment change
- supporting the development and adoption of new technologies and practices to reduce the industries contribution to was and emissions.
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