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Biosecurity Key to Growth of Aquaculture Industry

Front-footing biosecurity was the key focus of a recent workshop attended by more than 30 aquaculture operators, iwi and researchers from around the Bay of Plenty and New Zealand.

Facilitated by the Bay of Connections Regional Aquaculture Organisation (RAO), the workshop was held to formulate a more proactive approach to managing biosecurity risks and issues, including managing the risks fanworm and infestations on the region’s wharfs and waters.

Aquaculture is a key focus of the Bay of Plenty regional growth strategy, with the Bay of Connections RAO group charged with leading the industry-led growth approach.

Bay of Connections portfolio manager Cheryl Lewis says biosecurity is a national issue and a risk to the development and growth of the aquaculture industry.

“Organisms don’t discriminate across regions, and it’s important we have a united and proactive approach to managing biosecurity risks and issues to our aquaculture industry,” Ms Lewis says.

RAO Chair Graeme Coates says historically the industry has tended to take a reactionary approach to biosecurity.

“Things need to change and lessons need to be learnt to improve the industry’s approach to biosecurity.

“We see ourselves working with the council to look at what happens around the country, learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen in our area,” Mr Coates says.

Ms Lewis says the plan is to hold regular workshops with the group so it can stay up to date with developing issues, and formulate an agreed approach to managing biosecurity risks.

ENDS

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