Government supports industry's $1 billion goal

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
10 May 2007, at 1:00am

NZ - The New Zealand government has approved a project to facilitate research and innovation around new aquaculture species and technologies in both existing and new aquaculture space.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said aquaculture is a priority for the government.

"I firmly believe that sustainable aquaculture can contribute to economic development both on a national and regional scale."

Speaking at a meeting of regional council chief executives in Wellington he said that for New Zealand to get the best value from aquaculture development, it had to be at the forefront of technology and best practice.

"The government has worked with regional councils to support increased innovation in the use of existing space through appropriate regional coastal plan provisions. The work underway in Waikato, to allow experimental aquaculture on existing farms, is a good example of this," he said.

Legal changes
The government is also investigating the possibility of a change in the law change to encourage experimental aquaculture. A national research strategy for the industry was being developed by New Zealand Aquaculture. Its aim was to advise providers and the Foundation for Research Science and Technology about research priorities for the sector during the next five to 10 years.

"It is widely recognised that for New Zealand aquaculture to fulfil its considerable potential, there must be greater cooperation between science, industry and other stakeholders," said Mr Anderton, adding that government would respond to the aquaculture industry's proposed sector strategy, shortly.

"This sets out how we will work with councils, industry and others to help the industry achieve its goal of being a $1 billion dollar business by 2025. Now that councils are responsible for aquaculture planning, a key part of the government response involves supporting these councils in their planning processes," he added.

Significant feed-back from NZ's aqualculture industry raised the importance of planning support. The govenment understands change is necessary if the industery is to expand activities and prosper.