Mussel programme to boost aquaculture
The research will improve the sustainability of the mussel business. Photo: Jessica King/Marine Photobank
New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is supporting a US$26m programme that hopes to boost the country's aquaculture offering by domesticating Greenshell Mussel.
The SPATnz programme is a venture led by fishing company, Sanford Limited, which hopes to improve the sustainability of the mussel business in New Zealand. The seven year project has received up to US$13m from the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership Fund.
New Zealand’s farmed mussel industry is currently dependent on wild caught spat, which varies in quality. Research will be carried out to identify genetics that will meet market requirements and enable selective breeding.
Eric Barratt, managing director, Sanford, said: “This programme will create a step change for aquaculture. If successful this Primary Growth Partnership programme will achieve the biggest single development in aquaculture in nearly 40 years.”
Dan Bolger, deputy director general, MPI, added: “This is an exciting development in collaboration between the primary sector and New Zealand’s science community.”
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