PGF invests in Blue Mussel processing plant in Marlborough
Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau has announced today the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest $772,000 for a Blue Mussel processing plant to be established in Marlborough.
“This is an incredibly innovative initiative that will lift the productivity potential of the Marlborough region by providing extra jobs and upskilling, and adds significant economic value to an otherwise discarded natural resource,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“Until now it has been uneconomic to process Blue Mussels using standard industry practises. In the course of farming for green lipped mussels, they are considered a by-product and an unwanted nuisance on commercial green shell mussel farms, and current practise is to strip them from the green shell growing lines and throw them overboard.
“Successful trials conducted at Callaghan Innovation have confirmed the new processing plant will take harvested Blue Mussels and use them to produce useful materials – from proteins in pet food, to crushed shells as an alternative to pesticides.
“Having a processing plant of this kind in the Marlborough region opens up a wide array of potential future joint aquaculture ventures with local iwi and private enterprise, including improving the use of Māori and other private assets.
“This PGF investment strongly aligns with the objectives and regional priorities of the Marlborough District Council and regional stakeholders.
“It is an example of a progressive enterprise that is economically efficient, will increase the environmental performance of the aquaculture industry, add significant value add to a natural resource, and create local jobs,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
Note to editors
The PGF Guide, Sector Statements, detailed Investment Statement and Cabinet paper can be found at www.growregions.govt.nz