New Zealand mussel breeding plan pays off

Published on
April 11, 2017

The first harvest of high-value greenshell mussels from a purpose-built hatchery has been welcomed by New Zealand’s Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy for its contribution to reducing commercial growers’ reliance on collecting wild spat.

“Currently most wild spat is collected from seaweed on 90 Mile Beach. This innovation gives much more certainty to growers and means they can develop a higher value product with the characteristics consumers want, like size, color and taste,” said Guy. “It also means certainty of supply which is very important for markets.”

Guy hailed the development as “a key milestone” in a NZD 26 million (USD 18.1 million, EUR 17 million) Primary Growth Partnership program called SPATnz, with equal co-funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries and Sanford Ltd.

“This is a great example of industry and government working together to develop high-end products, adding value to one of New Zealand’s most valuable seafood industries,” he said.

The SPATnz program is aiming to generate NZD 81 million (USD 56.2 million, EUR 53 million) of economic benefits by 2026, but has highlighted that if the technology it has developed were to be adopted more broadly throughout the sector, the benefits could be worth up to NZD 200 million (USD 138.9 million, EUR 130.8 million).

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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