Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 13 November 2015



Friday Update is Seafood New Zealand's weekly email from our Chief Executive.

Captain's Blog
Friday, November 13, 2015




Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy receives a copy of a book about the history of marine farming in Marlborough from Marine Farming Association Executive Officer Graeme Coates at an event to celebrate 40 years of marine farming in the Sounds.


Marine farming's contribution to New Zealand economy

 The extraordinary contribution marine farming makes to Marlborough and the wider New Zealand economy is detailed in a new report.
  Marlborough waters deliver around 62 percent of the country’s aquaculture production by tonnes, dominated by greenshell mussels and salmon.
  Despite this productivity and the value delivered, aquaculture expansion has plateaued and even faces the real risk of a decline.
  About 20 percent of the Sounds, largely in Pelorus Sound, Port Underwood and Admiralty Bay, is zoned for aquaculture but current practice limits marine farming to near shore margins rather than mid-bay developments, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research report released this week says.
  “There is uncertainty about the future cost and security of aquaculture because 56 percent of farms face consent renewal by 2025. Potential changes to consent renewals for existing sites as well as expansions or changes to current operations would add to costs which the Marine Farming Association (MFA) has estimated could exceed $40 million if applied to all existing marine farms sites in the Marlborough Sounds.”
  The MFA commissioned the report to quantify the sector’s economic contribution.
  Among its findings are that aquaculture:

  • provides employment (859) jobs, nearly 4 percent of the region’s total labour force.
  • pays substantially higher than average wages.
  • generated export sales of $276 million in 2014.
  • contributed almost 6 percent ($162 million to Marlborough’s regional GDP.

  Aquaculture is the main growth area for seafood production, now accounting for around 40 percent of worldwide seafood production by weight. In 2011 global aquaculture production surpassed global beef production for the first time. Aquaculture is projected to overtake wild fish harvest of around 90 million tonnes per year in the next few years.
  The trend is similar in this country, although growth has slowed.
  After rapid expansion through the 1980s and early 1990s, the area of mussel farming in Marlborough has flattened off.
  There are around 565 operating mussel farms over a consented area of nearly 3000 hectares, about 2 percent of the total area of the Sounds.
  Marlborough also accounts for about two thirds of the national salmon production, which has fallen from about 12,800 tonnes in 2012 to 10,800 tonnes last year.
  New Zealand is the dominant supplier of King Salmon (also known as quinnat or chinook) into international markets. The fish achieves a price premium over the more common Atlantic salmon. New Zealand-farmed salmon is endorsed as ‘best choice' by North America’s influential seafood reference guide Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.
  New Zealand King Salmon applied for a further nine farms in 2012 on top of its existing seven to double or even treble production.
  Four of the farms were approved but one of those consents, at Port Gore, was overturned by the Supreme Court.
  The New Zealand Aquaculture Strategy adopted by the Government has a goal of achieving $1billion of output by 2025.
  That is a big stretch on current production.
  The Government rates regional development as a priority. And at last weekend’s Labour Party conference, leader Andrew Little said his three priorities were jobs, jobs and jobs.
  In which case we should be able to expect both major political parties to champion aquaculture as they hone their policies ahead of the next election.

Tim Pankhurst



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In the Media



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Royal visit to the Cawthron Institute


Royal tour showcases world-class science for sustainable seafood

Stuff (November 7) reported on His Royal Highness Prince Charles visiting the Cawthron Institute in Nelson to learn more about sustainable seafood research. The report said Prince Charles looked through microscopes at energetic algae, saw baby snapper and heard about the Cawthron Institute and Plant & Food Research's research around sustainable seafood. The first female scampi bred in captivity in New Zealand, named Camilla in honour of the royal visit, was also unveiled to the Prince.
Click here for full report




Ngai Tahu investigating live
blue cod exports

Stuff (November 8) reported that Ngai Tahu Seafood was investigating the live export of blue cod from its Bluff site.
Click here for full report




Aquaculture report confirms value to Marlborough

Radio New Zealand (November 12) reported on the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's (NZIER's) findings about marine farming, which were released in Blenheim. NZIER's report said aquaculture generated close to 6 per cent of Marlborough's $2.8 billion annual GDP, and employed almost 4 per cent of the district's total labour force.
Click here for full report



Marlborough marine farmer Jim Jessep. Photo: Stuff


Marine farm pioneer celebrates industry's 40 years

Stuff (November 11) reported on aquaculture pioneers coming together to celebrate 40 years of the industry in the Marlborough Sounds. The report featured Jim Jessep, one of the marine farmers who have helped develop aquaculture in the region into a multi-million dollar industry that it is today.
Click here for full report



Big boost for Maori exports

(November 11) Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has announced New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is committing an extra $1.6 million to support Maori businesses wanting to grow internationally. Flavell said there was huge interest in the unique value that Maori businesses
offer overseas.
Click here for the full report