1 Nov 2012

Sustainable growth key for aquaculture industry - minister

9:07 pm on 1 November 2012

Primary Industries Minister David Carter has told an aquaculture conference sustainable growth is the only way to achieve a $1 billion industry by 2025.

Aquaculture, which includes mussel, oysters and salmon farming, now earns about $350 million a year in exports.

Mr Carter told the conference in Nelson on Thursday that aquaculture has a huge opportunity to meet the growing global demand for quality seafood.

He says the Government wants to see quality coastal planning that unlocks new space for aquaculture.

However, he stresses it must be based on sound scientific research to ensure sustainability and not threaten New Zealand's environmental reputation.

Mr Carter says trout farming is still off the agenda in the foreseeable future, and the Government is not prepared to enter a debate about it.

A decision from a recent hearing into expanding the New Zealand King Salmon farming operations in the Marlborough Sounds is expected in February next year, he says.