New Zealanders set to buy more foreign than local salmon for first time ever

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Home-grown fish in short supply. NZ King Salmon CEO said that current laws are preventing them from meeting demand.

It’s a sobering statistic for the Kiwis – but the country is on track this year to buy more foreign than local salmon, for the first time.

New Zealand King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne told Mike Hosking on newstalkzb that current laws are preventing them from meeting demand.

“We don’t have enough volume to be supplying the market,” he said.”Unfortunately, I can’t really see that turning around anytime soon.

The business began to import Atlantic salmon from Norway and Canada in April, last year, sold under its Southern Ocean brand.

“We’re shoehorned into 17 surface hectares in the Marlborough Sound and of that space, half of it is really not suitable for our species,” added Rosewarne.

He told the station that they had the fourth largest marine economic zone in the world, so there is plenty of space to grow aquaculture. “We’ve got 4.4 million square kilometres, we only need 3 surface hectares and we could double our production.”

On Wednesday, Stuff reported that the salmon farmer announced that warmer water temperatures had led to higher fish mortality over summer and now the expected harvest was now 7900 tonnes, down from an earlier forecast of 8000 tonnes. and annual earnings were likely to be at the lower end of the forecast range of NZD 25 million (EUR 16.4 million) to NZD 28.5 million (EUR 16.7 million.

“We’ve been farming for 30 years and of the last seven, five have been our hottest on record,” he said. “This is not some ethereal concept for us, it’s reality. Our fish are dying in greater numbers each summer and that’s climate change-related.”