Export earnings in the aquaculture sector grew by 17% last year to more than $265 million despite a smaller harvest of some farmed fish species.
Aquaculture New Zealand chief executive Mike Burrell said the 2008 earnings were the highest ever.
He says King salmon earnings rose 22% up on the previous year. Export weights for greenshell mussels and oysters harvest were down slightly.
Mr Burrell says while the worldwide recession will inevitably hit the seafood industry along with every other sector, the long term outlook is very strong.
He says demand for seafood is growing and fish farming is meeting an increasing amount of that demand.