Our seawater farm locations
Our seawater farm locations
Seafarm sites require high quality, deep, cool waters with sufficient flow. Our Marlborough Sounds seafarms are situated in the Tory Channel, Queen Charlotte Sound and Pelorus Sound.
Summer water temperatures
We monitor water temperatures along with other conditions, in and around our Marlborough Sounds seafarms on a year round basis.
Our aquaculture team are focused on new operational strategies to mitigate the effects of rising water temperatures, especially throughout the summer period.
**The previous two years temperatures were taken from Ruakaka seafarm. However, Ruakaka is currently undergoing a fallow period, therefore, data will be captured from Otanearau this season.
Compliance and regulation
Globally, salmon farming is a highly regulated industry. In New Zealand, consents and regulations for fish farming are primarily legislated under the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Fisheries Act 1996.
Under the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Marlborough District Council (MDC) regulations, our seafarm consent conditions are reviewed annually. All documentation related to our farm consents and results from annual monitoring are available to the public via the MDC website.
Farm monitoring reports
Queen Charlotte Sound
Farming in balance
To ensure we operate in harmony with our unique environment, we work closely with MDC, MPI & independent science providers to develop Best Management Practice (BMP) guidelines for salmon farming in the Marlborough Sounds. Drawing on international science, we are in the process of implementing these guidelines across all our seafarm sites.
To view the BMP guidelines, visit the MDC website here.
Arrival of smolt
Smolt arrive in custom-built tankers which are designed to maintain a cool, oxygenated environment. Each batch of smolt are transferred to a dedicated pen. In order to minimise stress, there is no handling of the fish while they grow, which typically takes around 18 months.
King salmon require a unique diet for optimal health and growth, and the formulation of this diet changes throughout their lifecycle. The main components of the feed are complex fats and quality proteins, along with carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals. Automatic feeders are used to dispense several meals each day - more often when salmon are smaller, and less often as they grow. Underwater cameras closely monitor appetite and activity during each feed, to ensure our salmon receive just the right amount and no feed is wasted.
Our King salmon typically take around 18 months to reach an optimal harvest weight of around 4kg. We gently corral the salmon with specially designed nets which allow smaller fish to pass through. Once the fish are harvested, they are then transported on ice by specialised tankers straight to our Nelson processing facility.
We have recently implemented some operational changes in order to improve our practices for the overall wellbeing of our fish.
we aim to minimise handling as much as possible
to provide cooler water from depth and improve water flow
PASSIVE GRADING SYSTEMS
for balanced growth, to separate larger fish for harvest and reduce biomass before summer
post-harvest assessment of nets for replacement or repair and disinfection
to allow seabed remediation and essential farm maintenance
Single year class
Single year class in seawater is the best practice model in international aquaculture production planning to protect fish health, improve survival rates and deliver the best possible biosecurity.
Smolt to growout18 months
A Year Class is the name of a group of fish that are the same or a very similar age, hatched within a few months of each other. We only have a single Year Class in a farm at any one time, and each Year Class takes around 18 months to grow from smolt to harvest weight.
When salmon reach the optimum weight of around 4kg, they are harvested for market. We do not introduce a new Year Class of salmon into a seafarm until the existing group has been fully harvested.
Once harvest is complete, the farm is fallowed to allow seabed remediation and essential farm maintenance before introduction of a new single Year Class.