Sanford looks to open sea salmon farming for first time

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3,800 tonnes to 25,000 tonnes annually.

Whatsoninvers writes that Sanford, one of New Zealand’s major producers of king salmon, has lodged a consent with authorities to create five small open ocean farms in the Foveaux Strait, a seaway which separates Stewart Island from the South Island.

Aquaculture manager Ted Culley told the publication the new proposal would eventually increase King salmon production in at its operations in Southland, New Zealand’s southernmost region, from 3800 tonnes to 25,000 tonnes annually.

The company – which has commercial fishing and aquaculture operations – has wanted to move into ocean farming for a while.

Last year, CEO Volker Kuntzsch told SalmonBusiness that he was looking further out for salmon farming because, he said, “our industry will have to deal with the risks created by climate change.”

The project, which is in the consulting stage, will be at smaller farms rather than one larger farm at a single location because of operational reasons. This is related to fish health following consultation with leading international salmon farming experts.

Stuff reported that salmon farming has been thrown up as a potential economic saviour after more than 1,000 jobs were lost in New Zealand after mining giant Rio Tinto said it would close its aluminium smelter.

Southland’s Aquaculture Working Group boss Mark O’Connor said that 25,000 tonnes of salmon production would likely create 800 direct new full-time equivalent jobs for the province.