NZ seafood industry ‘in good heart’

THE future for New Zealand’s seafood industry – both farmed and wild caught – is looking bright, said a new government assessment.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) predicts a 4.4 per cent increase in seafood exports, to NZ $1.8 billion by June 2018, and says that will rise to $2.3 billion by 2025.
Seafood New Zealand chief executive Tim Pankhurst said the report reflected the industry’s own assessment that the future of commercial seafood, both wild capture and aquaculture, was in good heart.
‘The report confirmed that export prices for wild capture fisheries such as hoki, jack mackerel, and barracouta are expected to continue to grow, driven by increased overseas demand and sustainability constraints on volume.
‘The report was also confident around aquaculture and forecast that expanding aquaculture production will drive increased export volumes of mussels, oysters, and salmon,’  Pankhurst added.
He said the report mirrored a recent Business and Economic Research (BERL) report titled ‘The economic contribution of commercial fishing to the New Zealand economy’.
‘It found the fishing industry had a total output value of $4.1 billion to New Zealand – and while aquaculture was not included in the BERL report, we know it adds at least another $500 million.
‘When you add the contribution it makes to the domestic job market, investment in infrastructure, and the importance it has to satellite industries that depend on fishing, the regional and national significance of the industry to New Zealand is clear and must be valued.’