Commercial Trout Farming Not On Agenda

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
17 February 2010, at 12:00am

NEW ZEALAND - The Minister of Fisheries says trout won't be included in moves to loosen the lines on the fish farming industry.

In an address to Parliament last week, Prime Minister John Key announced plans to help the sector, reports RadioNZ .

Mr Key said current aquaculture regulations were stifling growth and new laws will be introduced this year to boost the industry which has the potential to return one billion dollars by 2025.

The aquaculture industry has welcomed the moves, which are primarily aimed at marine aquaculture.

There are about 650 marine farms in New Zealand, 70% of them producing mussels.

But some say the ban on commercial trout farming should be lifted too, including Sanford, a listed company.

Consultant Norman Moe is a former trout farmer in Chile where trout and salmon farming is worth $3 billion.

He says 10 small trout farms could produce more than $70 million per year. Rainbow trout can be farmed at sea as well as in lakes and canals and use similar techniques to salmon farming.

But Fish & Game which manages fresh water sportsfish fisheries says farming trout could lead to poaching and disease.

Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley says commercial trout farming is just not on the agenda and recreational trout fishing and fishing tourism will take priority over commercial farming.