Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 16 December 2016

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

Captain's Blog

December 16, 2016

The seafood sector continues its strong export run

  The seafood sector continues its strong run in the latest primary industries situation and outlook.
  Seafood exports are predicted to top $2 billion by 2019, according to the review released this week.
  "Strong international demand for seafood is expected to keep prices rising,” the review said. 
  Seafood is the fifth most valuable standalone export sector after dairy, meat and wool, forestry and horticulture. 
  The overall forecast for New Zealand Inc is not quite as bright, with total primary industries export revenue predicted to decrease slightly in 2017 from $37 billion to $36.7 billion. 
  However, the total will bounce up by 12.5 percent in 2018 to $41.2 billion on the back of rising dairy prices. 
  That is good news for a small, remote trading nation like New Zealand where a high standard of living depends on the goods it can sell to the world. 
  Seafood exports totalled $1.77 billion in the year to June 30. In the five years to 2021 the total is expected to increase by 24 percent to $2.2 billion.
  The review notes an emerging trend that the average per unit price for wild capture fisheries is growing faster than that of aquaculture species. 
  This is likely to be a reflection of the limited supply potential from wild capture fisheries. The price growth for wild capture is good news for New Zealand, as wild capture fisheries accounts for about 78 percent of our total seafood export revenue. 
  "Aquaculture, however, has growth potential. We expect an increase in salmon production from this year as two new farms owned by New Zealand King Salmon are already operational. Production from the third farm will be available in 2018".
  "Mussel production still relies on wild caught juveniles, availability of which depends on climatic cycles. Hatchery-bred juveniles are expected to gradually come online from 2018 and support more reliable mussel production. As a result, aquaculture export volumes are forecast to grow by 4.1 percent annually during the outlook period.”
  China remains the number one market, providing a third of the total value, followed by Europe, Australia, the US and Japan.
  Exports grew by 31 percent to the European market in the year, surpassing Australia for the first time. 
  Mussel oil is singled out as a particular success story, with exports increasing 13-fold in five years, from $3 million in 2011 to $40 million this year. It is one of the most expensive primary sector products at $3000 per kg.
  “Mussel oil is an emerging source of fish oil used in nutritional supplements. While fish oil is traditionally sourced from salmon, herring and other fish, mussel oil is unique to New Zealand. Oils extracted from green lipped New Zealand mussels are a high value product as they are a potent source of Omega 3 fatty acids and are said to have anti-inflammatory benefits.”
  The overall upshot is that despite earthquakes, negative publicity, activist academics and their pseudo-science and relentless doomsayers in the environmental business, the New Zealand seafood industry is in good heart.
  Stocks are sustainable, demand across a diverse range of markets is strong, returns are good, investment in new boats is the biggest in a generation, new technologies are changing the way we fish and the range of products we produce, our environmental imprint is reducing.
  We can look forward to 2017 and beyond with confidence.

- Tim Pankhurst
This is the final Captain’s Blog and Friday Update for 2016.

Thank you for your support this year. Here’s to happy holidays and we’ll see you in 2017.

In the Media

Moana New Zealand & Sanford Launch Maui Dolphin Protection Plan

  Moana New Zealand and Sanford (15 December 2016) Chief Executives announced yesterday a full protection plan for Maui dolphins - the world's rarest and smallest marine dolphins.  The plan includes putting an end to coastal set netting within a year, the removal of conventional trawling methods along the west coast of the North Island by 2022 and investing $500,000 to place video monitoring and electronic tracking on all vessels in the Maui habitat.   
  Volker Kuntzsch, Sanford Chief Executive, says the companies understand that the initiatives will adversely affect independent fishers who also catch in this area. ‘Several of whom lease catching rights and have long standing business relationships with us’, Kuntzsch said.
  “Some of these fishers will find themselves in very difficult situations and be financially challenged by our decision – we have been meeting with them and commit to continuing to stand alongside them if they choose to transition to more dolphin-safe methods such as long lining”.  
  ‘We’re committed to working with all west coast fishers and groups in this initiative.  We’re also looking to the Government to support this plan by finding ways to assist fishers to transition to dolphin-safe fishing methods, so the commitments we’re leading with are adopted by all fishers across the whole Maui Habitat.”
     “We all have a role to play in protecting these mammals.  Our livelihoods depend on what’s out there in the oceans, and that does not only mean on the species we catch, but the health of the whole ecosystem.”  
    The full protection plan document signed by Sanford and Moana is available here
Moana & Sanford Maui Dolphins Protection Plan
Moana & Sanford Maui Dolphins Protection Plan

A decade on snapper continues to be sustainably piped out to sea

Stuff (14 December 2016) reports that Plant and Food Research released about 5,000 baby snapper into the Nelson Haven, a programme which began in 2005 with 35,000 baby snapper being released into Tasman Bay.  This programme has provided a healthy increase in numbers and been linked to the revitalisation of the fishery.
  "We basically went from keen amateurs with brood stock and eggs in a number of places around the country but we got almost nothing and out of frustration when it wasn't going well we started thinking 'how hard can this be?'" Alistair Jerrett, science group leader for seafood production.
  "But the second year we got 180,000 and 120,000 released and it's built from there and what we've tried to do is grow a professional, relatively small scale international hatchery that you can have a solid base for technology, where people can try a few things or move out into commercial hatcheries."  Jerrett  said.
Read more

Opinion on roading progress not shared by Paua Industry Council

One disgruntled local moaning about lack of progress on roading in particular got headlines when Prime Minister Bill English and Earthquake Commission Minister Gerry Brownlee visited Kaikoura this week.
  That is not the general  view of local fishers and the Paua Industry Council. They have been working closely with Minister Nathan Guy and his officials and have found them receptive and keen to preserve the marine resource and the livelihoods it supports. The Government seems fully aware of the impacts of the earthquake and is felt to be doing its best to assist with rebuilding the community.