A bright future
for New Zealand aquaculture by Peter Parker, International Aquafeed magazine
he 2017 New Zealand Aquaculture Conference was held September 20-21, at the Rutherford Hotel in sunny Nelson, a city on the northern coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The two-day event is held annually and brings together the nation’s aquaculture industry as well as exhibitors and international delegates. Featuring the Cargill EWOS sponsored technical day on the Wednesday, and the New Zealand Aquaculture conference on the Thursday, this event was the perfect opportunity for the industry to network and share ideas towards building a strong and sustainable aquaculture industry for the future. Throughout the event participants were discussing the excellent Sanford sponsored cocktail function which certainly lived up to the hype on the closing hours of the event. According to Aquaculture New Zealand, the conference’s inspiring speakers, amazing seafood and unparalleled networking opportunities, has it “widely celebrated as New Zealand’s best primary sector conference.”
It is most fitting that Nelson is the scene for this conference, aside from being a beautiful place with great facilities for catering to visitors, it is also one of New Zealand’s key aquacultural hubs with a number of the key aquaculture support organisations being based there; such as Aquaculture New Zealand, the Cawthrone institute, and the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. The Aquaculture New Zealand organisation was formed in 2007 to be the single voice for the New Zealand aquaculture sector. Where previously, the New Zealand industry was made up of three independent species bodies in the New Zealand Mussel Industry Council, the New Zealand Salmon Famers Association and the New Zealand Oyster Industry Association. Aquaculture New Zealand aims to bring together these memberships. According to the Aquaculture New Zealand website they are primarily funded through an industry levy, and their chief role is the implementation of the industry strategy which aims to grow the sector to earn NZD$1 billion annually by 2025. A value which was frequently mentioned throughout the conference with passion and optimism. While in Nelson I was fortunate enough to be taken on a tour through the Cawthrone Institute’s aquaculture park by Dr Leo Zamora an aquaculture scientist currently conducting research on geoduck, a large edible clam with potential to be farmed in New Zealand. This was one of many species being studied at the 20 hectare aquaculture park that is equipped with purpose built wet
Darren Bray, Business Development Manager, BIG Nutrition (representing Cargill/EWOS in South Pacific) Our company started importing grow best feeds out of Indonesia 13 years ago and that progressed to being more fish driven rather than shrimp driven, over time we became the representative for EWOS/Cargill. This is my sixth time attending Aquaculture NZ Conference. In regards to the number of attendees, there has been definite growth over the past five years. This is our third year sponsoring the salmon stream technical day. Our focus in the New Zealand aquaculture industry is salmon, currently we supply fresh water feeds into New Zealand, but grow out feeds from all different regions into Australia. I would like to see increased growth in New Zealand’s aquaculture, a diversification of species would also benefit the region. I believe there is good potential for King fish as well as Hapuka and Trout, where currently salmon is the single species. In order for this to happen I believe government support is required, a recognition of and continued R&D on new species.
48 | November 2017 - International Aquafeed