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Government to facilitate innovation in aquaculture

NEW ZEALAND - The 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 today.

"Aquaculture is a priority for this Labour-Progressive Government. I firmly believe that sustainable aquaculture can contribute to economic development both on a national and regional scale."

Mr Anderton told a meeting of regional council chief executives in Wellington that to make sure New Zealand gets the best value from its aquaculture development, we must be at the forefront of technology and industry best practice.

"Towards this, 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.

"The Government is also investigating the possibility of a law change or other methods to encourage experimental aquaculture."

Mr Anderton said Aquaculture New Zealand was developing a national research strategy for the aquaculture sector, which would provide guidance to providers and the Foundation for Research Science and Technology about research priorities for aquaculture over the next five to ten 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."

He said the Government would shortly release its response to the aquaculture industry's sector strategy.

"It 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 councils in their planning processes. It was the feed-back we had from you that showed us the importance of that kind of support."

the Fish Site Editor

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