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True value of Coromandel seafood industry realised in new report released

Coromandel Peninsula | Wed August 09, 2017

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Coromandel mussel and oyster farmers, along with industry, iwi, businesses and agencies came together yesterday to celebrate the findings of a report which demonstrates the real economic and social value of aquaculture to the Thames-Coromandel and surrounding regions.

Some of the key findings from "The Economic Contribution of Marine Farming in the Thames-Coromandel District,” written by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) include:

Approximately 30% of NZ Greenshell mussel production and 24% of New Zealand’s Pacific Oyster production by weight is delivered by the Thames-Coromandel District.

7.2% of our District’s GDP comes from aquaculture, with a value of approximately $69.6M per annum.

Aquaculture generates $73M in exports per annum and $30+M in NZ retail sales.

The industry directly employs approximately up to 400 jobs within the district, with more jobs being created indirectly from charter boats, engineering, retail and the hospitality sectors.

Iwi are well represented through private, corporate and trust investment opportunities. One prominent example is the Hauraki Maori Trust Board representing the 12 iwi of Hauraki, which has embarked on numerous economic development initiatives since settlement of its fisheries and aquaculture Treaty claim in 2007, which includes mussel farms around Wilsons Bay.

As well as quantifying the number of jobs, the NZIER report also looks at the social and environmental benefits of the aquaculture industry and growth forecasts, with current proposals for new consented marine farming areas having the potential to increase production of mussels and oysters up to 50%.

“Tourism, employment and recreational pursuits are all boosted by our aquaculture industry,” says Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Sandra Goudie. “And this report builds on what a Ministry for Primary Industries 2017 Situation and Outlook report has revealed, that nationally our seafood industry is predicted to hit a record $2B annually by 2020.”

“Also from our perspective developing and maintaining relationships is an essential component of what we need to be doing in support of industries within our District, and to this end our Council want to acknowledge the input of the Coromandel Marine Farmers (CoroMFA), iwi and other stakeholders and agencies in the contribution they make to our economy, to our communities and working in a sustainable manner within the environment," says Mayor Sandra.

"We're extremely proud of our history, starting nearly 40 years ago with a small trial mussel surface long-line anchored in Coromandel Harbour, to where we are now with membership from every mussel farm, and many oyster farms within The Hauraki Gulf/Tikapa Moana," says Gilbert James, President of the Coromandel Marine Farmers (CoroMFA) who commissioned the NZIER report.

There are  significant new areas of water under development off the Thames Coast, which will allow for further mussel production and iwi businesses also now own a significant proportion of the marine farms in the Waikato and the Coromandel.

 


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