20 Dec 2013

New fishing technology will improve productivity, says Sanford

7:15 am on 20 December 2013

Sanford says new fishing technology that it has developed will make a significant difference to its productivity and profitability, after a disappointing year in the 12 months to September.

The company told the annual meeting of shareholders that it was frustrated by slow growth in mussel production in the Marlborough Sounds at a time when export prices increased by 25%.

However, out-going managing director Eric Barratt said new technology, called Precision Seafood Harvesting which is being developed over the next four years, will help to improve future profitability and productivity.

He said it will speed up the process of dealing with the logistics of getting the fish out of the water and into the marketplace.

Mr Barratt says trials in the deep-water fishery will begin in 2014 and the technology is revolutionary for the fishing industry.

Mr Barratt said he wishes he was going out with a better result.

The company had to downgrade its profit guidance for the 12 months to September twice and the $20.4 million result came in just 4% higher than the previous year.

Mr Barratt is retiring from the company after 31 years and has been replaced by Volker Kuntzsch.