December 20, 2011
New Zealand's seafood production shows increase
New aquaculture legislation in New Zealand and an increased hoki catch allowance have stimulated a 2.4% growth in wild capture fisheries production to 442,000 tonnes in the year to September 30, 2011, according to the New Zealand Agriculture and Forestry (SONZAF) report in June.
Following the merger with the Ministry of Fisheries in July, MAF is now including seafood in its forecasting.
This growth is driven by recent enlargement of the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for hoki, and further production increases are expected in the medium term, says Stuart Day, MAF Acting Manager Economic and Industry Development.
Export earnings from wild-capture fisheries were up by NZ$22.9 million (US$17.4million) (up 1.9%), to NZ$1.22 billion (US$924.48 billion).
Meanwhile, earnings from exports of farmed fish and shellfish were up 24.2% (NZ$60.1 million) (US$45.5 million) to NZ$308.7 million (US$233.9 million), driven off a volume increase of 11.9% (up 4,900 tonnes).
MAF reports new aquaculture legislation passed in August sets the legal framework needed to support growth in the aquaculture sector.
One company, King Salmon, has since submitted a proposal for eight new salmon farm sites in the Marlborough Sounds under the new provisions.
MAF forecasts that aquaculture production will increase at a moderate rate in the short to medium term.
Mussel exports were the single largest earner this past year, at NZ$221 million (US$167 million), followed by rock lobster at NZ$213 million (US$161 million), hoki at NZ$188 million (US$142 million) and squid at NZ$104 million (US$79 million).