OUR RE­SEARCHERS WENT TO THE BEACH TO HELP BUILD A $300 MIL­LION IN­DUS­TRY.

Idealog - - NEWS -

Since the 1990s, Cloudy Bay Clams has been har­vest­ing tu­at­uas and other surf clams. The com­pany saw the po­ten­tial to grow a much larger busi­ness, but first it wanted to make sure its ideas made eco­nomic and eco­log­i­cal sense.

So Cloudy Bay Clams formed a part­ner­ship with AUT Univer­sity to de­velop a sus­tain­able new fish­ery. The surf clam in­dus­try cur­rently yields about $10 mil­lion a year but there are in­di­ca­tions a $300 mil­lion ex­port in­dus­try is well within reach.

AUT As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor of Ap­plied Ecol­ogy Lind­sey White was com­mis­sioned to sur­vey the Fox­ton coast­line. Based on this sur­vey, the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries set a quota of 2,800 tonnes from 42 kilo­me­ters of the Manawatu coast­line – es­sen­tially dou­bling the clam quota for the whole coun­try.

AUT re­searchers are run­ning a host of projects in­clud­ing biomass stud­ies and in­ves­ti­ga­tions into nu­traceu­ti­cal ben­e­fits. With no fewer than four PhD projects and in­volve­ment from three dif­fer­ent AUT schools, it’s a text­book ex­am­ple of our in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary ap­proach. To cap it all, the pro­ject won the BNZ Peo­ple’s Choice Supreme Award at the Ki­wiNet Re­search Commercialisation Awards.

Mike Pon­der, Cloudy Bay Group Gen­eral Man­ager “AUT has been key to our abil­ity to grow, em­ploy and de­velop this ex­cit­ing ex­port for New Zealand.”

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