“New Zealand's next $1 billion primary industry ”
In 1969 a group of fishermen towed the first mussel barge into the Marlborough Sounds and anchored it in the Kenepuru. In the past 40-odd years since, the New Zealand aquaculture industry has evolved from a group of innovative pioneers to a professional, specialised and premium food production sector focused on environmental sustainability, food safety and value-added marketing.
In 2011 the industry employed over 3000 Kiwis and generated over $400 million of revenue. Moving forward, the sector offers tremendous sustainable growth potential for New Zealand to create more regional jobs, support associated industries and inject much needed export earnings into local communities and the economy
Aquaculture is already the world’s fastest growing primary industry and demand for aquaculture products is expected to strengthen significantly as the world’s population grows and wild-catch levels remain relatively static. United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation figures show aquaculture produces about 47% of seafood consumed globally by humans with production levels growing at a rate of approximately 6.3% annually for the past decade. Estimates suggest aquaculture will soon produce more seafood than wild fisheries.
It is one of the world’s most efficient forms of food production and is considered a sustainable solution to feeding the world.
The New Zealand aquaculture industry has positioned itself at the high-end of the market, exporting premium seafood products around the world.
New Zealand aquaculture products are exported to 79 countries and considered among the world’s best seafood.
Their taste, health properties, quality and versatility see them served at parties in New York, white tablecloth restaurants in London and at backyard barbecues down under.
The high quality of New Zealand coastal waters and the abundance of plankton, along with the prevalence of sheltered harbours and inlets create ideal conditions for aquaculture.
Couple this with our pristine waters, world class environmental management practices and reputation for quality and food safety, and we are well-placed
to capitalise on this food growing revolution with high value premium seafood products.
Of the $400 million industry revenue, $298 million was generated in exports. Sustainable growth in the sector will inject much needed export earnings into communities and the economy, generate more regional jobs and support a host of associated industries.