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Aquaculture New Zealand welcomes new research

News Release

Aquaculture New Zealand welcomes new research

August 20, 2014

New research released today by the Ministry for Primary Industries shows the vast majority of New Zealanders feel positive about aquaculture and support the sustainable growth of the industry, said Aquaculture New Zealand Chief Executive Gary Hooper.

“Aquaculture is a fresh, modern sector, generating hundreds of millions of dollars through the sustainable production of the world’s best seafood,” Mr Hooper said.

“Aquaculture is not a choice between environmental sustainability and economic growth – it is a means of achieving both.

“Marine farming occupies less than 0.1 per cent of our coastal waters yet provides over 3000 green jobs in regional areas and is the life blood of some communities.

“At the heart of the industry is our people. Our marine farmers are hard working contributors to their respective communities and this is reflected in the research.

“Their kids go to local schools, they source goods and services from local suppliers and they share the same water space and the same environmental concerns as fellow water users. They fish, dive and boat in the waters around the farms. It’s their backyard, their playground, and their legacy to their children and they make sure they protect it.

“It’s positive to see this contribution to communities and the commitment to sustainability resonating well with New Zealanders.”

In the 12 months to June 30, 2013, aquaculture generated over $298 million in exports. With improved productivity, new space and value added marketing, export earnings can more than double by 2025, Mr Hooper said.

“The world wants New Zealand farmed seafood and is prepared to pay for it. Our products are exported to 79 countries and demand outstrips supply with each species currently achieving record pricing,” Mr Hooper said.

“For the 6 months to June 30, Greenshell mussels were on track to achieve record export earnings for a calendar year.

“This strong global demand for safe, quality seafood is expected to rise steeply over the coming decades and New Zealand is well placed to capitalize on this food growing revolution with an abundance of rich coastal waters, world leading environmental management practices and caring, innovative farmers.

“This research gives us a better understanding of what New Zealanders know and feel about the sector and will be an important tool to help marine farmers work more closely with their local communities to maximize that potential and deliver significant benefits for New Zealand.”

“Aquaculture is New Zealand’s primary industry for the future.”

ENDS


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