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Workshop Highlights Opportunity in Bay of Plenty

NEW ZEALAND - The future of aquaculture in the Bay of Plenty looks positive after a recent workshop was heralded as a success.

As a relatively new region within the sector the attendees were positive and enthusiastic about the future of aquaculture in the area.

“It certainly wasn’t the talkfest some may have been concerned about before the event, there was concrete support reflected in the next steps forward identified throughout the day, said Mike Burrell, CEO Aquaculture New Zealand. “People began to see the contribution a wide variety of businesses and individuals could make to its success and how the benefits could be shared throughout the community.”

“The workshop had an extremely wide ranging group of participants including regulators and scientists to sector representatives and local residents as well as local iwi all with differing levels of knowledge and experience of aquaculture.

“One of the key outcomes was a broadening of knowledge and understanding of the economics, science and development opportunities aquaculture can provide” Mr Burrell said.

Building from the recent announcement and subsequent development of the marine farm in Opotiki there was an enthusiasm for the sector within the workshop, however, there was a recognition of the need to work together to build knowledge and experience of the aquaculture sector to realise the benefits to the region.

“As an ecologically sustainable primary industry aquaculture fits very well with the environmental and economic goals of the region,” said Bill Bayfield, Environment Bay of Plenty CEO. “As a proven economic contributor the sector has bought visible benefits to the regions who host it now.

“I must congratulate the Regional Governance Group for seeing the opportunity and who, under the Chairmanship of John Cronin, have moved very quickly to take advantage of the opportunities aquaculture can bring to the Bay of Plenty.

“It is this provision of benefits and incentives that makes aquaculture attractive to regions and the regulating councils. Like most sectors, the opportunity for investment and return is not limited to those directly involved.”