NZ seafood ‘fac­ing best fu­ture yet’

Fish Farmer - - News -

THE New Zealand seafood in­dus­try – both farmed and wild caught – is fac­ing its bright­est prospects for many years, a gov­ern­ment re­port has said.

The re­port, re­leased by the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries, paints a pos­i­tive pic­ture on nearly all fronts.

The min­istry says it ex­pects a 4.4 per cent in­crease in seafood ex­ports to NZ $1.8 bil­lion this year and says that will rise to $2.3 bil­lion by 2025.

Com­ment­ing on the fore­cast, Seafood New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Pankhurst said it re­flected the in­dus­try’s own as­sess­ment – that the fu­ture of com­mer­cial seafood, both wild cap­ture and aqua­cul­ture, was in good heart.

‘The re­port con­firmed that ex­port prices for wild cap­ture fish­eries such as hoki, jack mack­erel, and bar­ra­couta are ex­pected to con­tinue to grow, driven by in­creased over­seas de­mand and sus­tain­abil­ity con­straints on vol­ume.

‘The re­port was also con­fi­dent around aqua­cul­ture and fore­cast that ex­pand­ing aqua­cul­ture pro­duc­tion will drive in­creased ex­port vol­umes of mus­sels, oys­ters, and salmon.’

He said the find­ings echoed the op­ti­mism in a re­cent Busi­ness and Eco­nomic Re­search Ltd (BERL) re­port which showed com­mer­cial fish­ing was worth $4.1 bil­lion to the coun­try and aqua­cul­ture, al­though not in­cluded in the re­port, was worth at least $500 mil­lion.

Mean­while, the World Wildlife Fund is urg­ing the New Zealand gov­ern­ment to adopt a new tech­nol­ogy sys­tem that traces seafood from the sea to the plate.

The WWF says the new de­vice has had a suc­cess­ful trial in Fiji and will help make New Zealand fish­eries more sus­tain­able.

The sys­tem, called the Blockchain Project, uses a ra­dio fre­quency de­vice to track fish from catch to the su­per­mar­ket, with GPS pre­ci­sion.

Above: Bar­ra­couta

Above: Hoki

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