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Aquaculture Industry Ready to Get Cracking

NEW ZEALAND - We are very pleased to have the governments support to increase the development of New Zealands aquaculture industry, said Callum McCallum, chairman of the New Zealand Aquaculture Council following Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallards address today at the Regional Aquaculture Forum for the Bay of Plenty in Whakatane.

Mr Mallard announced that government will outline a three year action plan early next year and Mr McCallum commented that “the aquaculture industry is looking forward to working with the government in partnership for its implementation.”

Mr Mallard said government will work in partnership with the industry and others to implement the industry’s New Zealand Aquaculture Strategy which sets a target for growing the industry to $1 billion of products a year by 2025.

“It is great to have government support for our strategy and we are pleased the government’s action plan includes practical solutions for reducing bottlenecks to growth,” added Callum. “Since the law reform, regional councils have been assigned the task of identifying Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs), sites where aquaculture development can be located. We want to work with councils to identify AMAs quickly and efficiently.”

“It is positive to hear Mr Mallard highlighting the need to work with regional partners to ensure successful planning processes for aquaculture to build investor confidence.” This was the first of five key pillars Mr Mallard announced that will shape their action plan. “It is very a promising start. The future of the aquaculture industry looks bright again,” said Mr McCallum.

In October this year, Environment Bay of Plenty completed a million dollar research project to help it locate areas for potential AMAs. However, the regional council's chairman John Cronin says sign off on aquaculture zones is still several years away.

“Environment Bay of Plenty is leading the way in its commitment to advancing aquaculture growth. We are encouraged by this and would invite other councils to follow EBoP’s example” said Mr McCallum.

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