Bunch of Tuna

The latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries, released yesterday by the Ministry for Primary Industries, paints a positive picture for the future of New Zealand’s commercial seafood industry.

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,” said Pankhurst.

MPI predicts a 4.4 percent increase in seafood exports to $1.8 billion to June 2018 and says that will rise to $2.3 billion by 2025.

Pankhurst said the report mirrored a recent BERL report: The economic contribution of commercial fishing to the New Zealand economy.

“BERL 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.”

“It is important to note that the forecast export rise is despite the constraints on volume by an industry with a strong focus on stock sustainability. That wild capture volumes remain stable while exports rise is testament to an industry driven by innovation – and one that recognises that future sustainability will continue to be driven by fishing smarter not fishing more,” said Pankhurst.