ERMA Decision Welcomed By King Salmon
The decision by the Environmental Risk Management Authority to reassess the containment and disposal arrangements of our company’s Transgenic research programme is welcome, said Chief Executive of the New Zealand King Salmon Co Ltd., Mr Paul Steere.
“Despite a high level of confidence in our controls and protocols in this area of containment, and indeed the certification by MAF of our Kaituna Research Hatchery as an approved transitional facility for this work just a month ago, we welcome a further expert and authoritative review based on the applicable science with a transparent determination.”
“What has tended to be overlooked in the emotive and often ill-founded observations of this work, is that our Scientists and Managers involved are keenly focussed on their duty of care. As a primary producer, we are all acutely conscious of the environment that supports our livestock and its sustainability” said Mr Steere.
This salmon research project being undertaken under strict quarantine conditions seeks to provide a product that is available all year round at a good market size, is consistent year on year, is robust in its grow-out to survive the continually changing farming environment and is economically improved to appeal to a wider range of consumers.
“We are many years away from seeing the opportunity for commercial results and it must be remembered that this is a very small project by comparison to our other breeding developments, much of which has been assisted by the transgenic disciplines required.” “Less than 500 adult salmon are live in this transgenic programme compared with over 30,000 adults in our selected Broodstock programme”
The transgenic project is subject to internal review in December each year. “While progress so far has been encouraging, regard must be taken in our annual review of not just the scientific progress and its wider benefits but also the likely economic and marketing potential. We are very aware of the need to satisfy our constituency, our consumers both in Australasia and internationally that this is a safe and beneficial development”.
“Given the public interest in this project, we will announce the results of that review. In the meantime we look forward to working with ERMA in confirming the safe containment and controls in the project,” Mr Steere concluded.