The first new space allocated for salmon in Marlborough has finally come on stream with the official opening of two new salmon farms operated by New Zealand King Salmon. The Pelorus Sounds farms at Waitata and Kopāua were officially opened on 12 July by the Minister for Environment and MP for Nelson Hon. Dr Nick Smith.
A third farm in the Tory Channel, Ngamahau has begun operating and an official opening is expected later in the year.
The sites add to the operating farms the company has in the Queen Charlotte Sound and the Tory Channel – Ruakaka, Otanerau, Te Pangu and Clay Point.
The three new farms will enable New Zealand King Salmon to approximately double salmon production from around 6,000 metric tonnes to 12,000 over the coming years.
The extra production is destined to fill the strong demand from international markets, in particular North America. The first harvest from the Waitata farm took place this week producing excellent quality salmon averaging more than four kilograms in size.
The farms are located on sites where the water is cool, deep and with high flow, optimal conditions for raising salmon. NZ King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne says salmon farming has helped put Marlborough on the menu as a world-class culinary destination. “Not only do we grow the best salmon in the world, we tell the NZ story with our brands.”
“Salmon represent one of the most sustainable ways of producing animal protein and these farms are an important addition to the regional economy. They also support the government’s commitment to creating sustainable food sources through aquaculture.
“The farms provide green jobs for locals, support for local industry and suppliers and add to the region’s rapidly growing reputation for high quality seafood.
“Once fully operational, salmon farming in Marlborough will generate around $230 million in direct revenues plus flow-on business for local companies supporting the industry,” he said.