This year’s New Zealand Aquaculture Conference, held in Blenheim, was the biggest yet and New Zealand King Salmon was there in force. 

The conference, of which New Zealand King Salmon is a co-platinum sponsor along with Sanford, was held at the Marlborough Convention Centre on 26 and 27 September.

NZKS Environmental certifications programme manager Karen Mant says more than 50 NZKS team members attended the Cargill EWOS Technical Day and more than 65 were at the main conference day. NZKS sponsored lunches at the event, and guests were treated to a range of Ora King dishes. At the cocktail evening NZKS team members showcased our latest products on Salmon Street.

“The conference was a fantastic event with lots of world class speakers full of inspiration.”

Aquaculture New Zealand business manager Karen Morley says the conference was the largest held to date, and is the country’s largest aquaculture collaboration. It is widely celebrated as New Zealand’s best primary sector conference, she says, which was reflected by the 500 “really energetic, bubbly people” attendees.

Key topics this year were focused around aquaculture being New Zealand’s future, and that it’s here to stay. That included climate change, looking after our environment, being good citizens of aquaculture, food safety science opportunities, aquaculture as sustainable nutrition and iwi pathways for the future.

It was “a conference of positivity”, Karen Morley says.

“Everyone comes away buzzing. This is our industry; aquaculture is good for New Zealand and our communities and regional development. The conference is a great time to share our stories, what we’re doing and how good we really are as an industry.”

NZKS’s generous sponsorship meant three overseas speakers could attend the conference and it was also very visible among the 17 trade and stakeholder displays.

CEO Grant Rosewarne was also a speaker. “Grant walks the talk in the fact he sends so many of his team members. NZKS dedicated a lot of time to this event,” Karen Morley says.

Before the conference, NZKS farm Te Pangu hosted international keynote speakers Solveig van Ness, Aaron McNeivn, Ian Lyall as well as members from Forest & Bird, World Wildlife Foundation, Creative Salmon from Canada, EWOS (Sponsors of the Technical Day) and other guests, says Karen Mant.

“The team at Te Pangu did a great job hosting our guests and they were all very impressed with our operations and Tyee salmon.”

This was followed by a lunch at Mistletoe Bay, where a talk was held about NZKS’s partnership with the popular eco-village and camp.

NZKS corporate marketing manager, Ally Hossain, says that as a company NZKS believes the conference is hugely beneficial, “both in terms of the calibre and content of the presentations, but also due to the networking opportunities it affords”.

“As a co-platinum sponsor we were able assist in bringing world-class speakers to the event, and offered them side-line farm visits and activities to ensure their international travel has been worthwhile. This year’s conference saw the highest ever number of delegates and I’m proud to say a good proportion of them were from our company.”