Climate change eats away at Sanford’s earnings

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NZ-based King salmon farmer feel the heat.

The seafood company, Sanford, who farm King Salmon at Big Glory Bay in Stewart Island, NZ, have reported an EBIT rise from USD NZ 60.7 million (EUR 36.4 million) in 2017 to USD NZ 67.6 (EUR 40.6 million) this year.

The fish farmer also has a wide fleet of commercial fishing operations and mussel farms (of which Sandford accounts for over 40% of the national mussel harvest volume).

In it’s annual report, the company said that a summer marine heatwave affected growth and mortality rates at its salmon farm at Stewart Island, with the company limiting sales for up to 10 weeks to enable fish stocks to reach desired weights. Harvest volumes were 4.4 per cent down on the prior year.

New Zealand sweated through its hottest summer on record. The nationwide average temperature for the 2017-18 summer was 18.8 degrees Celsius, 0.3C above the previous 1934-35 record of 18.5C, and a significant 2.1C above the 1981-2010 averages.

Sanford Chief Executive, Volker Kuntzsch, said that company will be providing “strategic safeguards” in mitigating the risk posed by climate change.

The farmers – who also have commercial fishing and mussel farming operations – are actively safeguarding future farms with an investment in oxygenation systems, net cleaning tech, cage configuration and lower stock density.