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New Zealand Mussel Industry Ready to Grow

by the Fish Site Editor
12 March 2009, at 12:00am

NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand could easily have another 400 jobs if access to mussel growing sites was made easier, according to the industry.

The Greenshell mussel industry on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand currently produces some 22,000 tonnes, and it is hoping to increase that to 60,000 tonnes by 2014, creating another 600 jobs, reports the Waikato Times.

According tot the news organisation, three councils are promising to remove red tape to make it easier for Coromandel Peninsula mussel farm operators to expand and create up to 600 new jobs. Representatives from Thames-Coromandel District Council, Hauraki District Council and Environment Waikato all told Aquaculture New Zealand, the seafood industry's national body, yesterday they would help cut bureaucracy that operators claim has been stifling growth.

The region employs 400 full and part-time staff on mussel barges and in processing factories. With approval to develop more farms, that number of staff could rise to more than 1000 by 2014.

Greenshell New Zealand, one of the largest peninsula-based mussel companies, has been waiting 13 years to get the go-ahead to develop water spaces in Wilson's Bay on the Firth of Thames. Peter Vitasovich, managing director of Greenshell New Zealand and chairman of Aquaculture New Zealand, has welcomed moves to make it easier to do business. The industry has also applied to EW to change its regional plan to allow the farming of other species such as fin fish, along with shellfish.

the Fish Site Editor