Iwi owned seafood company Aotearoa Fisheries is to take over a Pacific oyster nursery and spat operation in the South Island.
The agreement with Cawthron Institute involves the oyster hatchery and nursery based at Glenduan, north of Nelson.
Aotearoa Fisheries is the largest Pacific oyster company in the country.
Under the agreement, three of the Cawthron Institute staff in the nursery and growing operations will be seconded to the seafood company to continue research work.
Aotearoa Fisheries general manager of aquaculture Don Collier says the problems being faced by the Pacific oyster industry since 2010, in the wake of an oyster virus, have illustrated how vulnerable it is to be totally reliant on a natural wild catch.
However, he says by continuing to apply sound science and research by Cawthron Institute staff it will manage better when nature throws up curve balls.