3 Mar 2014

Firm aims for live scampi trade

7:15 am on 3 March 2014

A Maori fishing firm is at the forefront of changes to the way scampi is harvested.

Marlborough-based Waikawa Fishing Company is working with scientists and engineers using sustainable Maori methods to export live scampi to the Asian market.

Current export earnings from frozen scampi are worth $21 million but programme leader and Cawthron scientist Shaun Ogilvie, of Te Arawa, says it's estimated the live export trade could bring in millions more.

The project came from the whanau-run Waikawa Fishing Company's desire to find new ways which better address their kaitiakitanga [guardianship] role to ensure the fishery is maintained for future generations.

Mr Ogilvie says by combining new technology and matauranga Maori, the live scampi export trade has the potential to bring in $200 million of annual exports by 2030.

The programme will receive $1.5 million over six years from the Government.