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Go-ahead for Research Expansion

NEW ZEALAND - A major research project led by Nelsons Cawthron Institute is expected to transform New Zealand's aquaculture industry with new high-value shellfish species and dramatically improved growing conditions to allow a much-extended harvest season.

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology is investing NZ$14.8 million over five years in the institute's Adding Value to Cultured Shellfish research project.

The institute is to expand its Glenhaven aquaculture centre after it managed to gain approval for an inland road to the site.

One access road adjacent to Boulder Bank failed to gain approval because of environmental concerns.

But now a land-swap deal has been arranged to allow access to the expanded Glenhaven centre, according to reports in The Nelson Mail.

"Cawthron has assembled a team with a strong track record for delivering high quality research that makes a real difference to the New Zealand seafood industry," foundation chief executive Murray Bain said, when the NZ$14.8 million grant was first awarded in July.

Cawthron chief executive Gillian Wratt said: "We are pleased to be able to make such a significant contribution to the industry.

"The research will give the industry greater control over the quality of their product – enabling them to reap the same benefits from selective breeding that have been enjoyed by land-based industries for hundreds of years."