New Zealand King Salmon chief exec, Grant Rosewarne, says company can reach Government’s $3billion target by itself

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During a meeting last week, he said his confidence in achieving the goal as a single company was based on the success of salmon farming in Norway.

“Norwegians, they’ve got 5 million people as well, but they think on scale, they’ve got aspiration,” he told Stuff. “Why wouldn’t we have the aspiration to get at least to where Norway is now?”

The New Zealand Government announced last month a strategy to help drive growth and innovate the salmon farming industry in the country as part of its aquaculture proposals. Included was a plan for the entire industry to be worth $3 billion by 2035. “Removing barriers” to salmon farming was one of the other pledges made.

Salmon made up 17 per cent of the $600 million in aquaculture sales last year, with the bulk of that coming from Marlborough, on the South Island.

New Zealand King Salmon hopes one of its new salmon farms will go towards reaching the $3 billion target.

An application for it, named Blue Endeavour, has been made, which could sit 7 kilometres off the coast of Cook Strait. It would be an open-net salmon farm, with 8 pens and could produce as much as 4,000 tonnes of salmon.

Mr Rosewarne spoke about it alongside Aquaculture New Zealand chief executive Gary Hooper at a meeting in Picton.

Mr Hooper acknowledged the ambition involved in meeting the $3 billion target, but nonetheless concluded it was achievable.

“It will require an amount of pioneer activity in an open-ocean environment,” he told Stuff.

“It’s bold, it’s ambitious, but if we can overcome some of the engineering challenges it would achievable with huge benefit to Marlborough and New Zealand.”