Sal­mon could be as big as dairy, says NZKS boss

Fish Farmer - - World News -

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

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