Aquaculture for all

Shellfish Conference for Blenheim

Crustaceans Clams Oysters +6 more

MARLBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND - The week-long conference, held biennially, is attended by up to 400 scientist, regulators and industry members, and showcases the latest scientific information, research developments and management techniques for water quality for shellfish.

Marlborough Shellfish Quality Programme executive officer Helen Smale said securing the conference was a major coup for Marlborough, and would have benefits for the local tourism industry.

“Marlborough is an ideal site because of its central location, and the fact that the majority of the aquaculture industry is here,” she said.

Mrs Smale, who is also manager of the New Zealand Aquaculture Industry Water Quality committee, was recently informed that the industry’s proposal, submitted at the conference in Ireland last year, was successful, ousting proposals from France and the United States.

New Zealand had been selected to host the conference largely because of its reputation as the world leader in water quality programmes, she said.

The programmes were considered to be the most robust in the world, and New Zealand regularly hosted overseas industry representatives looking to learn from the systems and leading edge technologies.

“Our industry is unique, because its based on a partnership with industries, researchers and regulatory authorities, whereas overseas there is a more policed approach and the regulatory authorities dictate everything” Mrs Smale said.

New Zealand’s programmes were also unique in that they were one hundred per cent industry funded in contrast to competing industries overseas where the programmes were funded and operated entirely by Government agencies.

Pristine water conditions are essential for the production of healthy seafood such as mussels, cockles and scallops. Being filter feeders, they literally filter their food from the sea water by pumping the water through their gills, meaning they concentrated any micro-organisms, chemicals or toxins present in the environment.

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