Indoor Fish Farm Plans Expansion27 August 2012
NEW ZEALAND - An indoor fish farm growing carp has ambitious plans to expand locally and hook lucrative export deals.
The freshwater farm in Hope is growing silver carp and grass carp on a recirculating system to sell domestically and to export as food, reports
The operation was set up by Robert Hutton and funeral director Francis Day, directors of New Zealand Land Based Aquaculture (NZLBA) which received its fish farm licence in June from the Ministry of Primary Industries.
"We are the only commercial fish farm of this kind in the country," Mr Hutton said.
The Ministry of Primary Industries said Aquaponic Venture in Motueka also had a licence for a fresh water, recirculation farm to rear grass carp and farm several whitebait species, koura (freshwater crayfish), Chinook salmon and silver carp.
In total there are only 11 indoor fish farms in New Zealand - most others used sea-water and grow paua - as the young land-based aquaculture industry develops.
The Hope fish farm was growing 4500 silver and grass carp on its recirculation system, without any link to rivers, lakes or streams, Mr Hutton said.
It had sold the fish to New Zealand Waterways Restoration, due in September to be used as weed control, and was currently working on future contracts that included exporting grass and silver carp to Australia and China for food, he said.
"We have been working on this for one and a half years ... I see a long future here. Grass Carp are a terrific fish and fit the Asian diet perfectly," Mr Hutton said.
The company was forming a consortium to set up the new facilities, budgeted to cost about $5.5 million, and was working with local councils, Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Primary Industries.
TheFishSite News Desk