New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) is embarking on its most ambitious project to grow salmon in the open ocean. Public submissions are now open until 16 December for those who want to have their say in the resource consent process.
It’s been an exciting time for the company recently, particularly when New Zealand King Salmon was named ‘Best Large Business’ at both the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, in addition to receiving the Supreme Award from the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce.
“What an honour to be recognised by our peers throughout the region and a boost of confidence in what we are doing as a business,” says Chief Executive Grant Rosewarne.
We have over 530 team members in the Top of the South, all of whom take an active part in their respective communities. We hope to grow this number if our application to place an open ocean farm in the Cook Strait is successful,” he adds.
“We sincerely believe this initiative will provide a positive boost to our region’s future and will help in the sustainable food future of New Zealand.”
Public submissions are open with a closing date of 16 December. To support NZKS’s application, people can complete an online form via the Marlborough District Council website or complete and post the downloadable submission form back to the Marlborough District Council. Alternatively, write a letter to the Resource Consents Manager at Marlborough District Council, quoting consent ref: U190438. See NZKS’ website below for more details.
NZKS currently produces 8000 tonnes per year of King salmon. If the application for the 1792-hectare open ocean site, which has been named Blue Endeauvour, is approved, it intends to commission an initial farm with the potential to grow approximately 4000 tonnes of King salmon. A second farm would then follow and produce an equivalent amount.
Salmon farming in the open ocean will certainly be more challenging weather-wise, but will also bring benefits of higher-flow, deeper and cooler waters well away from land. “After 30 years of farming King salmon, we know the optimal conditions for raising this rare species and believe we have the expertise required for this bold move,” says Chief Operating Officer Alan Cook.
The New Zealand Government’s recently launched Aquaculture Strategy supports the pursuit of open ocean aquaculture to grow a resilient, productive and sustainable industry to reach $3 billion in annual sales by 2035. Currently the NZ aquaculture industry is worth $623 million.
“We have already met with a wide range of groups, including iwi, fishing companies, Department of Conservation, Forest and Bird, the Environmental Defence Society and local community groups and we invite anyone wanting to know more to come and meet with us,” adds Mr Rosewarne.
Open ocean farming has also had support from the science industry with Cawthron Institute aquaculture scientist Kevin Heasman stating that it has “massive potential”.
NZKS expects a hearing will be held in early 2020, with the hope of resource consent granted by mid-2020. If successful, it plans to have the farm commissioned in 2021.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our company, the region and the aquaculture industry and is the future of salmon farming,” says Mr Rosewarne.