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New Zealand business links

P1040171 A party of five British aquaculture representatives,  including Martyn Haines of Pisces LI, arrived in New Zealand to join an Aquaculture Trade Mission organised by the British High Commission on the 22nd of October 2013. The aim was to establish new business links.

The New Zealand Aquaculture conference held at Nelson on the South Island during the first 2 days provided an ideal opportunity to get a feel for the progress being made by the aquaculture industry and to meet those involved. There is enormous potential for the expansion of both salmon and shellfish production, if  the public’s trust can be gained. New Zealanders are seeking reassurance that the expansion of aquaculture would not threaten their wonderful freshwater and marine environments. The concept of establishing an ethical ‘social licence to operate’ was widely discussed  by a range of vested interests. The former New Zealand Prime Minister joined the event to give his views on the opportunity for well planned and regulated growth of the sector and the wider benefits to New Zealand’s rural economy.

P1040170Subsequent meetings started with a visit to the main salmon farming company, King Salmon, to get a feel for their attitude and approach towards workforce skills development.   As the company name implies,  the Pacific King Salmon (Chinook) has become the backbone of  finfish production in New Zealand. It was the only one of a number of salmon species introduced in 1900 to survive and naturalise successfully. Trout farming remains outlawed due to fears of the potential impact it could have on the world famous New Zealand sport fishery, revered by trout fly fishermen far and wide.  This was followed by a meeting with Dr Mark Burdass, Aquaculture Department Head, and Tony Gray, Principal of  the Nelson Marlborough Institute of technology (NMIT) and main provider of aquaculture courses in New Zealand. Many challenges facing the educators were discussed, and it became clear that NMIT are very receptive to the collaborative development of aquaculture learning resources and qualifications in the future. The communication with NMIT has been maintained since the Trade Mission concluded, and opportunities for a wider tripartite partnership that includes Australia is under consideration.




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