Demonstrating aquaculture performance

Friday 18 April 2008, 6:24PM
By Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of primary industries Jim Anderton is pleased New Zealand is helping contribute to the development of international standards around shellfish farming.

“New Zealand already has a good reputation for the sustainable management of its shellfish farms,” Jim Anderton says. “It would be good to build on this reputation by being able to demonstrate our industry’s performance against international standards.”

He says recent talks in Nelson are an initial part of a process that aims to come up with international standards for shellfish farming that are measurable and performance-based.

“It’s good to see New Zealand being part of the process of developing such standards,” Jim Anderton says.

The Nelson discussions were facilitated by Aquaculture New Zealand for WWF International, in conjunction with marine and aquaculture scientists and stakeholders. The process of developing these standards is expected to take 2-3 years.

WWF International has been having similar talks in other parts of the world since 2004, as part of the first step in its work to develop these international shellfish-farming standards.

“New Zealand aquaculture – and our shellfish farming in particular – is in a good position to become one of the first primary sector industries to demonstrate itself fully sustainable,” says Jim Anderton.

“Demonstrating this sector’s good performance through a set of measurable standards is an important part of that process. The Nelson talks provide a starting point for this.”

Jim Anderton says aquaculture is a comparatively new primary sector industry in New Zealand, and that good planning processes around environmental effects are an integral part of the approval process for establishing marine farming operations here.