Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

King Salmon braced for ‘disappointing’ fish farm relocation

King Salmon braced for ‘disappointing’ fish farm relocation decision

By Pattrick Smellie

Sept. 27 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand King Salmon hopes it will be allowed to move around half of nine square hectares of its Marlborough Sounds fish farms to better locations, but is braced for a “disappointing” outcome for both the company’s growth and environmental outcomes.

Speaking to BusinessDesk at the Aquaculture New Zealand conference in Blenheim, NZKS managing director Grant Rosewarne expressed frustration at the likelihood of a “sub-optimal outcome”.

Leaving 4.5 hectares of the nine hectares of existing farms in place would be worse for both productivity and the environment “when we can get a world’s best practice environmental outcome a kilometre away,” he said.

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash is expected to take recommendations on the proposed relocations to Cabinet before Christmas, with a decision pencilled for February.

Nash told the aquaculture conference the industry needed to innovate more and invest in high-value brands to maximise export revenues.

However, Rosewarne said NZKS was already producing “the most highly branded salmon in the world, with highly differentiated products. We’re getting high prices” but slow regulatory processes were impeding growth potential.

“I do think we will get there and you heard the positive intent of the minister,” he said. “But I think we’re all dumb-founded that when something is so positive it’s not given a fast track or enabled with a proper strategy.”

Nash said the newly created Fisheries New Zealand agency, split out from the Ministry for Primary Industries, would deliver a new aquaculture strategy within the next year and strongly backed emerging deep-sea fish farming technology.

“The sooner we get into that space, the better,” Nash told BusinessDesk. “The consumer wants that, local iwi want that, communities want that. They can grow. The sooner tech allows us to get to the point where we can have commercial finfish farms off the coast, the better we all are.”

But he pushed back at the suggestion the regulatory processes were too slow and failing to support the aquaculture industry.

“One of my frustrations is that it does seem to take a long time to get anywhere in fisheries.

“I would rather take six months longer and make sure we get the process right than rush something through, get it wrong, and end up in court.”

Rosewarne said barely 20 surface hectares of salmon farming was consented in New Zealand, “17 hectares of which are ours, and half of which is no good”.

Moving the whole nine surface hectares in question “should not be a hard thing”, he said.

“We can’t even move a tiny nine surface hectares, which we’ve already got and can already use, to a better spot and get a vastly superior outcome. That’s really disappointing.”

NZKS could apply to the Provincial Growth Fund for assistance with applying deep-sea fish farming in New Zealand, but the most important government contribution was a new aquaculture strategy.

“We could be New Zealand’s most valuable industry bar none – technology, dairy, education, tourism. We can outdo all of those if there’s a proper industry strategy and we can do it with an environmental footprint that would be hard to measure, it would be so green.”

The conference heard from international speakers from the World Wildlife Fund and the Norwegian salmon-farming industry about the relatively low impact of aquaculture for the production of protein for human consumption compared with traditional agriculture.

Aaron McNevin, from WWF-USA, made a case for a global shift from land-based farming to farming in the sea, given the far greater efficiency and lower environmental impact of aquaculture.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Ground Rules: Government Moves To Protect Best Growing Land

“Continuing to grow food in the volumes and quality we have come to expect depends on the availability of land and the quality of the soil. Once productive land is built on, we can’t use it for food production, which is why we need to act now.” More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society: Calls For Overhaul Of Gene-Technology Regulations

An expert panel considering the implications of new technologies that allow much more controlled and precise ‘editing’ of genes, has concluded it’s time for an overhaul of the regulations and that there’s an urgent need for wide discussion and debate about gene editing... More>>

ALSO:

Retail: Card Spending Dips In July

Seasonally-adjusted electronic card spending dipped in July by 0.1 percent after being flat in June, according to Stats NZ. Economists had expected a 0.5 percent lift, according to the median in a Bloomberg poll. More>>

ALSO:

Product Stewardship: Govt Takes More Action To Reduce Waste

The Government is proposing a new way to deal with environmentally harmful products before they become waste, including plastic packing and bottles, as part of a wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills. More>>

ALSO:

Earnings Update: Fonterra Sees Up To $675m Loss On Writedowns

“While the Co-op’s FY19 underlying earnings range is within the current guidance of 10-15 cents per share, when you take into consideration these likely write-downs, we expect to make a reported loss of $590-675 million this year, which is a 37 to 42 cent loss per share." More>>

ALSO: