Salmon could be as big as dairy, says NZKS boss
The salmon industry could be as big as the New Zealand dairy industry by 2050, and at a fraction of the environmental cost, according to New Zealand King Salmon boss Grant Rosewarne.
The NZ King Salmon chief executive looked at Norway for ‘what could be’ in salmon aquaculture, following his visit to Stavanger for AquaVision 2018, the Marlborough Express reported on June 17.
The Norwegians had adopted a national policy of increasing their second largest industry five-fold before 2050 and wanted salmon farming to replace their $70 billion oil and gas industry.
‘As farming situations go, this is one of the best outcomes you’re going to get of any farming method for animals in the world,’ Rosewarne said. ‘Our impact on the environment is an order of magnitude less [than dairy].’
The claims were made in his presentation to Marlborough District Council during its long-term plan submissions.
In 2018, the Ministry for Primary Industries projected the dairy industry would have an export revenue of $16.6 billion, which was 39 per cent of New Zealand’s total primary industry export revenue. Salmon aquaculture had export revenues of $98 million.
Rosewarne drew parallels with the wine industry in Marlborough, the potential of which also wasn’t fully understood in its infancy, he said.
‘The potential [of wine] wasn’t always recognised, and it took some time for people to embrace that industry.’
Rosewarne said salmon aquaculture could ‘easily exceed the size of the New Zealand wine industry’, according to their calculations.
In the submission, he admitted their farming techniques changed the natural landscape, but said the change was an increase in biodiversity.
‘This is the only farming method that I know of where you get greater biodiversity.’
Rosewarne said they could remove New Zealand’s $2.8 billion trade deficit with just 80 surface hectares of farms. They currently operated with 17 surface hectares.
And he said if their short-term predictions were met they intended to create 280 jobs in the Marlborough region.
When asked how NZ King Salmon planned to achieve this when there was an ‘acute labour shortage in Marlborough’, Rosewarne said they could out-offer other employers in the region. ‘We’re a wealthy company and we can just pay more money.’ The company posted $25 million in annual profit last year
Above: New ealand King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne (le ) at Aqua ision 2018 in Stavanger