Steering a new course for aquaculture

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
15 February 2007, at 12:00am

NEW ZEALAND - Mike Burrell has built a career out of helping countries and communities.

New Zealand Aquaculture Ltd chief executive officer Mike Burrell

Born and raised on the West Coast and after more than a decade travelling the world and working in economic development, Mr Burrell has returned to the South Island in a new role, steering New Zealand's aquaculture industry.

Based in Nelson as chief executive of the newly-formed New Zealand Aquaculture Ltd, Mr Burrell, 39, is clearly excited about the future of aquaculture in this country.

And he has lots of ideas to help it prosper.

The sector already has firm plans to become a $1 billion industry by 2025, last year launching an aquaculture sector strategy to help achieve its aims.

Although only just over a month into his new job, Mr Burrell knows the strategy inside out. That's because he led its development.

Mr Burrell was born and raised in Greymouth, where his parents still live, and aside from working on wharves as a student, he has always been familiar with the seafood and marine sectors through family links.

His father worked for Greymouth's Westfleet fisheries for 20 years as a chief engineer, his uncle was a general manager of Westfleet and his brother is a freshwater ecologist in Christchurch.

After completing a honours degree in political science at Canterbury University Mr Burrell worked for the Department of Labour for five years before packing his bags for his big overseas experience, which lasted 10 years.

During his time overseas Mr Burrell spent three years in Vanuatu - firstly as a volunteer and then working as a consultant for the Asian Development Bank and AusAid, the Australian agency for overseas aid and development. In Vanuatu he established a rural economic development programme, based on an urban economic development programme he had done in London.

Source: The Nelson Mail