New Zealand’s export earnings on seafood are fast approaching a record high, and aquaculture and technological advances in the fishing industry are leading the way. Initial estimates from the Ministry of Primary industries predict that investment in aquaculture could move export earnings from NZD 1.8 billion to NZD 2.1 billion by 2022.
Serious investments in the mussel spat building and the expansion of crucial aquaculture areas will provide the seafood industry with a robust platform for increasing export volumes in 2018 and beyond. Minister Stuart Nash was also categorical that NZ is currently enjoying the fruits of their investment on the spat NZ Primary Growth Partnership Program, which has dramatically improved the quality of mussels.
Besides increasing production volume, the global seafood prices have been on an upward trend. These two positive trends could improve the industry’s export revenue by 5% in the year ending June 2019. The growth of NZ’s aquaculture combined with the dwindling global supplies amounts put New Zealand as a comfortable seat when it comes to command high prices for its seafood.
The environmental credibility of NZ’s seafood products remains to be a key driver towards toward their dominance in this industry. In an attempt to keep up the excellent job, the Marines Stewardship Council continues to certify most fisheries, a development this is expected to support export prices.
NZ’s forecasts on increasing seafood exports are contingent on new technologies. This is evidenced by the adoption of the new Modular Harvesting System for commercial operations in some of NZ’s deep waters.
The MHS is the first new technology of its kind to be ever introduced in this industry and would greatly help in improving the quality of seafood catch. This technology will also help fishing vessels in targeting specific species and enable crew members to get their catch in good condition.