Aquaculture has always been an obvious industry of focus for a country surrounded entirely by water as New Zealand is.
Akaroa Salmon Marketing Manager Nik Mavromatis, provided an in-depth understanding of the industry, discussing the challenges, successes, and the potential for growth with REX host Dom George.
He highlighted the growth of Akaroa Salmon, from its inception as a small family business in 1985 to a thriving industry leader employing over 80 staff. He praised New Zealand's unique coastline and cold, high-flow currents as the perfect environment for salmon farming.
However, he pointed out the industry's significant challenges, including a cumbersome consent process and regulatory bottlenecks.
"It's just the consent process, and we've really got to listen to the scientists on this if we want to do it right in our growth," Mavromatis said.
The episode underscores the importance of sustainable and responsible practices in aquaculture. He mentioned that Akaroa Salmon is utilising innovative solutions like fermented algae to replace wild-caught fish oil in salmon feed, thus reducing the impact on wild stocks.
Mavromatis suggested that this kind of innovative thinking is key to the future of the industry.
"All the tech is here. You know the world has already said look, how are we going to feed the world?
"Over 60 percent of the world's seafood is now aquaculture and New Zealand is lagging behind in this."
One such innovation discussed is the use of flexible GPS locations, a concept already in practice in Norway. Mavromatis believes this innovation could greatly improve New Zealand's aquaculture scene, as it would allow farms to move within a specified area, rather than being locked into one physical location.
"We just got to listen to that and actually all work together for a common cause," he concluded, emphasising the need for collaboration and shared commitment to sustainable practices.
Listen to the full chat between Nik Mavromatis and Dominic George above.