Aquaculture growth in our regions
15 December 2006
Minister Jim Anderton met with the mayor of the Marlborough District Council last night to find out why the Marlborough region has been so successful in developing aquaculture and realising the economic benefits that aquaculture brings to its communities.
Marlborough aquaculture farms now operate over 2964ha and are an example of an industry where there are clear opportunities for growth and innovation.
The industry aims to grow to a $1 billion sector by 2025, and the government is working to help it get there.
“Marlborough is an up and coming region and the council over the last 10 years has done a good job providing for a number of growth industries include wine and aquaculture” said Jim Anderton. “Council has got behind these emerging industries at an early stage and put in place management frameworks to ensure their sustainable growth.”
“Our success comes from working closely with industry and our communities,” said Mayor Alistair Sowman. “We look at the needs of our communities and industries and work together on pathways for achieving sustainable growth. The key is developing long-term and productive partnerships and a stable foundation for development.”
Most of the economic growth from aquaculture will benefit regional economies. As can be seen from the small town of Havelock, aquaculture has brought jobs, wealth and opportunities to the residents of this small town.
“Jobs have been created, living standards have improved and the population has grown. There are not many other industries that can do this well for our coastal rural towns” said Jim Anderton.
“Last week, the Government announced $2.9 million in funding to help regional authorities plan for aquaculture in their regions. I hope councils will look at the benefits aquaculture has brought to Marlborough and will take this opportunity to partner with Government to achieve growth in their coastal communities.”
A number of other councils are now looking at opportunities for aquaculture development. Tasman, Waikato, Northland, Auckland and Bay of Plenty are all at various stages of planning for aquaculture.
“These councils are leading the way and I encourage communities, iwi and industry to work closely with their councils on aquaculture opportunities. It is important we work together to ensure sustainable development of our coast.”
The funding for aquaculture planning is the first step in the Government’s response to the New Zealand Aquaculture Sector Strategy that was released earlier this year. Further steps in the government’s plan to support sustainable aquaculture development will be announced early next year.
Enjoying Marlborough’s mussels are Minister of Fisheries, Jim Anderton, Mayor Alistair Sowman and chairman of Marlborough’s Environmental Committee, Gerald Hope