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Boost for New Zealand Aquaculture Companies

Economics Politics +2 more

NEW ZEALAND - New Zealands fastest growing seafood sector has received a boost from a Contestable Market Development Fund for New Zealand Aquaculture.

Five new projects from four New Zealand aquaculture companies will be launched by the end of the month.

As part of the Government’s programme for partnering with industry, a total of NZ$600,000 is being allocated to co-fund projects by Aotearoa Seafoods Ltd, Island Aquafarms Ltd, Pacifica Seafoods Ltd and The New Zealand King Salmon Co Ltd.

The funding is for projects with the potential to drive industry growth over the medium to long term and will be administered on a dollar-for-dollar match basis.

NZTE Operations Manager – Food and Beverage, Sam Lewis, says there was keen interest from multiple participants in the sector and applications for the grants were oversubscribed.

“The projects target opportunities for improving profitability and competitiveness of the sector in key markets including Asia and North America,” said Mr Lewis.

“Aquaculture accounts for 15 per cent of New Zealand’s seafood exports by revenue and the sector is active in 77 markets worldwide. Currently the sector generates in excess of NZ$300 million annually and the target goal is to reach $1 billion in sales by 2025,” he said.

“Applications for funding covered a broad range of activities and were designed to encourage innovative market development in the sector.”

“It’s great to see five new projects for two of aquaculture’s flagship species, Greenshell™Mussels and King Salmon are underway. Along with Pacific Oysters these species have been major contributors to the growth of aquaculture production in New Zealand,” said Mr Lewis.

Projects supported by the fund will contribute to the wider goals of the New Zealand Aquaculture Market Development Strategy, which is being implemented by Aquaculture New Zealand.

Managed by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) with funding in response to the recommendations of the Food and Beverage Taskforce, the fund is part of the NZ$2.5 million in-market assistance support of the Aquaculture sector in the 2008/09 financial year.

NZTE will be evaluating the progress and success of each project with the possibility of further funds being available for future projects.