Our vision is to pursue international best practice salmon farming in order to deliver a sustainable food solution for the future.
What are we doing?
To achieve our future farming vision, we must seek out the most suitable water space to grow our King salmon sustainably. Our two key strategic initiatives to achieve this goal are open ocean farming and farm relocation.
Open ocean opportunity
Covers 71% of the world’s surface
Produces 17% of the world’s protein
NZ’s marine environment is over
larger than our land mass
With over four hundred million hectares of ocean space on New Zealand’s doorstep — the fourth largest marine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the world — farming a tiny proportion of the ocean could provide a significant future source of healthy, sustainable protein.
“From a New Zealand perspective, open ocean aquaculture has massive potential. We’ve got a huge marine estate, no close neighbours, and by combining appropriate environmental and site planning with smart farming systems, we can sustainably realise the value of our open ocean resources.”
— Kevin Heasman, Cawthron Institute Aquaculture Scientist
What is open ocean farming
Open ocean farming is a developing aquaculture practice where farms are located in deeper, less sheltered, high energy surface waters with stronger currents. They are typically several kilometres away from land, which can significantly reduce the environmental effects and other constraints that can often impact inshore aquaculture.
We are in the process of assessing the suitability of locations around the coast of New Zealand for salmon farming. In conjunction with independent scientists, we have monitored temperature, wave heights, currents and other key environmental factors.
We have lodged an application with Marlborough District Council (MDC) for resource consent to place an open ocean farm, which we’ve named Blue Endeavour, 7km north of Cape Lambert in the Cook Strait. If the application for the 1,792 hectare site is approved, we intend to commission an initial farm with the potential to grow approximately 4,000 tonnes of King salmon. A second farm would then follow and produce an equivalent amount. Currently, we produce 8,000 tonnes of salmon per year at our inshore sites.
We expect a hearing to be held in 2021. If successful, first harvest would be in 2024.
“If the application for the 1,792 hectare site is approved, we intend to commission an initial farm with the potential to grow approx. 4,000 tonnes of King salmon.”
In September 2019, Fisheries New Zealand launched a government Aquaculture Strategy identifying objectives and actions towards New Zealand becoming world-leading in sustainable and innovative aquaculture.
Moving into the open ocean presents new and significant technological challenges for fish farming, but we believe we have chosen the best site possible.
Developing our first open ocean farm will initially require the commissioning of suitable vessels and pen infrastructure based on international technology, as well as the training of team members, with an anticipated capital investment of around $30-$35 million.
We believe the future focused strategy we’re putting in place to harness the ocean’s potential in a sustainable way, will allow us to farm beyond the Sounds, maximise our biosecurity management and further reduce the impact we have on our environment and community. A combination of open ocean and inshore sites will allow us to operate at international best practice.
MINIMAL SEABED IMPACT
DISTANCE FROM COMMUNITIES
Today, the demand for our premium King salmon outweighs the supply. Seasonal changes in water temperatures are affecting the welfare of our salmon at certain farm locations. By relocating some of our seafarms, not only will our salmon thrive all year round, but we’ll also reduce our environmental footprint whilst creating more jobs for the region as we increase our ability to meet production demand.
The joint relocation proposal between NZKS and the Marlborough Iwi Aquaculture Organisations, is based on relocating several hectares that are already consented for farming, to areas that will provide optimum salmon farming conditions.