“Seafood New Zealand was set up late last year to be more responsive to market and industry changes, following significant consultation with wider industry,” says Eric Barratt, Chair of Seafood New Zealand.
“Less than ten years ago our main export market was the US. Today the focus is on China and north Asian markets that are growing much faster, with the other markets relatively stable.
“At the same time we’ve seen greater individual sector representation across the five key sector groups, comprising; aquaculture, paua, rock lobster, inshore and deepwater.
“In response, we’ve established a national organisation that has clearer accountability in its role of providing whole-of-industry services to promote New Zealand seafood, as well as developing more effective relationships with our wider communities and stakeholders,” says Mr Barratt.
Mr Barratt says that includes building a better understanding of the value and benefits of New Zealand’s sustainable seafood industry with New Zealand communities.
Seafood New Zealand’s new chief executive Tim Pankhurst says seafood is a vital sector of the country’s primary production and it currently ranks as New Zealand’s fifth largest export earner, contributing $1.57 billion in export dollars last year.
“Our role is to build on the industry’s position as a leading exporter of sustainable, high quality, New Zealand seafood. As part of that we will be working closely with industry and our wider stakeholders in shaping a strong future that is sustainable, best practice and innovative,” says Mr Pankhurst.