17 Nov 2010

Aquaculture won't top dairy sector - industry leader

1:44 pm on 17 November 2010

A fishing industry leader says it's fanciful to think aquaculture could grow as large as dairying and become another Fonterra for New Zealand.

Sealord chief executive Graham Stuart says aquaculture will become at least $1 billion industry by 2025, but further fin fish farm development faces big constraints.

He told the New Zealand Aquaculture conference in Nelson that the cost of importing fish feed and New Zealand's distance from markets were barriers, but the biggest is a lack of capital.

He said even a modest investment in a 500 tonne hapuka industry would cost $70 - $80 million.

Mr Stuart said further corporatisation of the industry and more foreign investment is essential to growth.