Revolutionary seafood project showing great promise

  • Nathan Guy
Primary Industries

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed exciting progress on seafood harvesting technology, developed through the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme.

“The Precision Seafood Harvesting project is developing new net technology which is world-leading. It has the potential for huge economic and environmental benefits.

“Underwater images have been released at the Seafood NZ conference today in Auckland showing this technology in action.

“New high-tech equipment is being developed, with the aim of allowing fish to be sorted by size and species before even leaving the water.

“This will allow smaller and non-targeted fish to escape, reducing wastage and by-catch. At the same time it allows fish to be landed healthier and in better condition, which will improve their value.

“Being able to target specific fish has the potential to revolutionise commercial fishing,” says Mr Guy.

The Government is investing $26 million into this project, which is being jointly matched by a consortium of private fishing companies. It was launched in April 2012.

Two further prototypes will be rolled out this year for testing under commercial conditions.

This new net technology was one of a range of measures announced as part of the Snapper 1 decision to address commercial wastage in this important shared fishery.

The Primary Growth Partnership is made up of 16 projects with $684 million in funding committed from both industry and Government. The projects aim to boost productivity and innovation across the primary industries, including the fishing, forestry, red meat, honey and dairy sectors.

“The potential benefit to the wider economy from these programmes is estimated at around $7 billion per year from 2025. It will play a major part in achieving the Government’s goal of doubling primary sector exports by 2025,” says Mr Guy.

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