6 Nov 2012

Northland marine farmers eye 700 jobs

8:20 pm on 6 November 2012

Tai Tokerau's aquaculture development group is predicting marine farming will employ 700 people in Northland by 2030.

The group includes a number of iwi companies and is launching its Northland Aquaculture Development Strategy this week.

Group chairman Alan Pivac of Ngati Whatua says the plan is the result of a year's work by five groups, focusing on finfish, and shellfish.

Mr Pivac says the government's goal is for New Zealand to have a billion-dollar aquaculture industry in less than twenty years .

He says Northland believes it can contribute $300 million a year to that - a big jump from its present level of $26 million.

But he says scientists are now successfully raising snapper, kingfish and paua at NIWA's Bream Bay research centre - and that financial goal should be attainable.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter will launch the Northland Aquaculture Strategy on Friday at NIWA's Bream Bay Aquaculture Park, near Whangarei.