Aquaculture

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The Frenchman, Whangarei Harbour

This sector is small but the potential for further development is exciting as Whangarei has excellent growing conditions, good existing infrastructure and candidate species, along with availability of labour.

Globally, wild fisheries are struggling to keep up with the demand for fresh seafood. Aquaculture is the key to satisfying this growing worldwide demand for high-quality, protein rich seafood. With the emergence of kingfish farming and further growth expected for mussel farming, the potential for this sector is great.

Whangarei is home to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) facility, Australasia's largest aquaculture research centre and production facility at Bream Bay Aquaculture Research Park . The $20 million centre boasts New Zealand's largest team of aquaculture specialists and supports a growing aquaculture industry throughout New Zealand. The site forms an international hub for aquaculture and marine science research and development, with NIWA hosting researchers from universities and institutes throughout the world. 

NIWA has developed New Zealand's first on-land kingfish facility and planning for large scale commercial kingfish production are underway. 

OceaNZ Blue Ltd, New Zealand’s largest paua (abalone farm), is co-located at the Bream Bay Aquaculture Research Park. It was established in 2002 and hand raises the blue abalone species (Haliotis iris) which are native to New Zealand. OceaNZ Blue supplies abalone to international markets, specialising in canned and cryogenically frozen abalone. 

The Northland Regional Council is responsible for administering nearly all aspects of marine farming in our region.  These include:

  • monitoring existing farms
  • ensuring compliance with resource consent conditions
  • granting resource consents for new marine farms
  • writing the policies and rules determining where new aquaculture can and cannot go