April 17, 2010


New Zealand to fund aquaculture innovation


The New Zealand government is contributing NZD1.69 million (US$1.2 million) to develop a shared research facility for seafood and aquaculture innovation that is likely to result in substantial national economic benefits, Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee said Friday (Apr 16).


The facility, owned by the Cawthron Institute near Nelson, involves a partnership with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, industry and other research organisations involved with seafood and aquaculture, according to Brownlee.


"The aquaculture sector has considerable potential for economic growth. The industry goal is to grow sector sales to NZD1 billion (US$0.7 billion) by 2025. This funding, along with other initiatives such as upcoming legislative reforms, is part of the government's commitment to that goal," Brownlee said.


The centre will provide the opportunity for aquaculture companies to take a product or technique from research through to pilot scale commercial production on the one site.


"One of the key economic issues facing New Zealand in many sectors is the need to develop new, higher value products. This facility will help the aquaculture sector investigate and pilot high-value species and products, including enabling spat to be artificially grown onshore in commercial quantity, reducing the industry's reliance on limited wild stocks," Brownlee added.


The facility will also allow greater collaboration between research organisations, education providers and industry.


The shared research facility and associated site infrastructure is expected to cost NZD5.73 million (US$4.06 million), including the government funding.

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