Aquaculture in New Zealand: Key Facts, Statistics and Trends

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  • Topic: Aquaculture, Oyster, Pacific Ocean
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New Zealand Aquaculture
A sector overview with key facts, statistics and trends. 2012

In the past 40 years aquaculture in New Zealand has grown from very small beginnings to a significant primary industry, currently estimated to have a revenue in excess of $400 million, with a target goal of reaching $1 billion in sales by 2025. Just as New Zealand’s distinctive land creates outstanding wines, our seas nurture superb seafood. The natural purity of our water, our unique marine ecology and our small population unify to create seafood of unmatched quality and taste. In today’s hectic world people yearn for sensory experiences that can transport them to a place where nature rules supreme. The integrity of flavour and quality of our flagship aquaculture species including New Zealand Greenshell™ Mussels, King Salmon and Pacific Oysters deliver just that.

Major Aquaculture Areas in New Zealand

Northland Pacific Oyster: 51% of total production Auckland Greenshell™ Mussel: 4% of total production Pacific Oyster: 25% of total production

Coromandel Greenshell™ Mussel: 19% of total production Pacific Oyster: 21% of total production

Tasman & Golden Bays Greenshell™ Mussel: 3% of total production

Marlborough Greenshell™ Mussel: 69% of total production King Salmon: 64% of total production Pacific Oyster: 3% of total production Canterbury Greenshell™ Mussel: 2% of total production King Salmon: 4% of total production

Southland Greenshell™ Mussel: 3% of total production King Salmon: 32% of total production

Source: Aquaculture New Zealand Levy Production 2011

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Environmental Sustainability
New Zealand marine farmers continually push the boundaries of global best practice to meet the growing global demand for safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable seafood products. Species specific Environmental Codes of Practice direct best industry practices throughout growing and harvesting to minimise potential effects on the environment. Independent recognition of the New Zealand aquaculture sector’s commitment to environmental sustainability has come from international conservation organisation Blue Ocean Institute, who have ranked New Zealand Greenshell™ Mussels as one of the top ‘eco-friendly’ seafoods in the world. Global Trust Certification Ltd have also recognised the world leading environmental practices in the farming of King Salmon in New Zealand. “The New Zealand salmon industry achieves a first class rating amongst global producers. Born out of inherent resource based attributes displayed by the natural marine environment in combination with a highly dedicated, quality focused sector, New Zealand salmon is synonymous with the words healthy, pure and natural. Farms are compliant to one of the most robust regulatory frameworks in the world, developed through partnership and choice.” Global Trust Certification Ltd.

Water Quality
New Zealand operates one of the strictest quality assurance programmes for shellfish in the world, testing both the shellfish and the water in which it grows. Water quality is rigorously and constantly monitored with testing carried out to specifications and standards set by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, European Union and NZ Food Safety Authority. Under this stringent monitoring programme no shellfish product can be harvested from farms without confirmation that water testing during the growing cycle, rainfall monitoring and product testing has declared it as safe. In New Zealand, site selection for the growing of King Salmon is based on a pristine and unpolluted rearing environment. Farms are strategically positioned in remote areas with strong tidal flow. The temperature and purity of the water is critical and the sun, wind and tides assist in cleaning the cages. Fish need a plentiful supply of well-oxygenated and unpolluted water. A good depth of water allows adequate space between net and seabed; a good water flow ensures a constant supply of dissolved oxygen and...
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