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Record Seafood Export Earnings Welcomed - Minister

Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson welcomed the news today that the value of seafood exports reached a record total of $1.3 billion last year.

Figures released by the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council, compiled from Statistics New Zealand data, show seafood exports totalled 322,000 tonnes in the year to December 1999.

Although the volume was down 8 percent on the previous year, the average return per tonne increased by 17 percent. The gain was mainly due to higher prices and a lower New Zealand dollar.

"I am pleased to see the New Zealand seafood industry taking advantage of increasing demand for seafood in overseas markets," Mr Hodgson said. "Innovative marketing and intelligent diversification beyond Asian markets has positioned the New Zealand industry well. It seems the outlook for both volumes and prices is positive.

"New Zealand's world-leading Quota Management System offers us the huge marketing advantage of an environmentally sustainable fishery, if we manage it well. The Government is committed to maximising the performance of the QMS and driving a significant increase in fisheries research, into both stock assessment and the marine environment.

"I look forward to working with the seafood industry and other stakeholders to ensure New Zealand's fisheries thrive and prosper. With proper care I hope that both the industry and the resource can keep growing."


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