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Aquaculture sector joins the GIA biosecurity partnership

Aquaculture sector joins the GIA biosecurity partnership

Aquaculture New Zealand is the latest primary sector group to protect its valuable industry from pests and diseases by joining the GIA biosecurity partnership.

Aquaculture New Zealand represents the Greenshell mussel, King salmon and Pacific oyster industries. It consulted with its members and agreed to join the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA).

The final step in the process is the signing of the GIA Deed, which occurred today at the annual New Zealand aquaculture conference in Blenheim, in a ceremony attended by senior representatives of the aquaculture industry, and Ray Smith, Director-General of MPI.

Aquaculture joins the 23 other industry sectors that have agreed to work with Government, and each other, to deal with pests or pathogens specific to their primary industry sectors. This includes the majority of the horticultural and livestock sectors, representing some $40b of commercial activity across NZ.

Aquaculture New Zealand Chair Bruce Hearn says joining GIA is a positive step for the industry.

“Our pristine environment and innovative people combine to make New Zealand one of the world’s great aquaculture producers, renowned for some of the highest quality seafood products available. It is critical we take all possible steps to protect this unique advantage. Joining GIA furthers this goal by ensuring aquaculture producers have an important seat around the table when decisions are being made on biosecurity issues.”

“By working together we will give ourselves the best opportunity to deliver better biosecurity outcomes”, said Mr. Hearn. “The aquaculture industry employs over 3,000 people in New Zealand and generates over $600m in domestic and international sales and, as such, it is vital we do everything we can to protect the livelihood of our members.

Jen Scoular, GIA’s Governance Group Chair, welcomed the arrival of Aquaculture NZ into the GIA partnership, describing it as a significant addition.

“It’s really important to have such a key sector represented in GIA. We now have every major primary industry group sitting around the decision-making table with Government, making the GIA partnership truly representative of the primary sector. This will allow for better industry skills and information sharing and a coordinated approach to biosecurity.

“GIA provides a unique forum where the Crown and the broad range of primary sector industries can work together to deliver better biosecurity. We look forward to working in partnership together to deliver better biosecurity,” Ms Scoular said.

To find out more about GIA visit www.gia.org.nz

ENDS


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