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PR: New opportunity hatches for Southland economy

Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister

Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is backing Southland’s aquaculture industry with an $8 million loan to develop a salmon hatchery in the deep south, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have today announced.

The funding will enable Sanford Limited to construct the first stage of a modular land-based Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) salmon hatchery for the growing of Chinook (King) salmon at Ocean Beach in Bluff.

“This is excellent news for the people of Southland and proof of our Government’s commitment to diversifying the regional economy,” Mr Peters said.

“PGF support for this project will help bring business confidence back to Southland, create long term permanent jobs in Bluff and Stewart Island/Rakiura and underwrite a strong local commitment to the Southland region in becoming a global leader in King salmon farming.

“The project is expected to create 81 direct jobs during the construction and more than 240 indirect jobs and, once at full production, 54 direct and 163 indirect jobs,” Mr Jones said.

Shane Jones said the RAS hatchery would act as a springboard for wider salmon farm development in the region and open ocean farms.

“Aquaculture has been identified as the single greatest opportunity to create a new comparative advantage for Southland and work on this project is expected to get under way as soon as October,” Shane Jones said.

“The capacity of the salmon hatchery will be built up in stages, with the first stage having the capability to produce up to 1.5 million smolt. The company has an immediate need for about 1 million of the initial smolt production for its salmon farm on Stewart Island/Rakiura and the balance of 500,000 smolt will be available to be sold at commercial rates to other industry players.

“The Provincial Development Unit has worked hard behind-the-scenes to support sectors that are critical to the success of our regions and I’m proud we’re able to make this announcement today,” said Mr Jones

“Our salmon industry is recognised as a sustainable form of seafood, worldwide. This hatchery will support sustainability by optimising the use of water space, allowing smolt to be grown in a contained and efficient system, to a larger size than in current systems prior to moving them into the water, and thereby ensuring a more productive use of our oceans,” Mr Peters said.


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