Aquaculture Strategy

The Government’s aquaculture strategy sets objectives and actions to guide sustainable growth of New Zealand’s aquaculture industry.

About the aquaculture strategy

The strategy, released in September 2019, sets outcomes for a sustainable, productive, resilient, and inclusive aquaculture industry. It identifies government agencies' objectives and actions towards New Zealand becoming world-leading in sustainable and innovative aquaculture.

The strategy's objectives are to:

  • promote and assist implementation of strategic integrated coastal and catchment planning to ensure a healthy aquatic environment
  • partner with industry on a transition plan to reduce emissions and waste across the value chain
  • maximise the value of all farmed space through a strong research, innovation, and commercialisation system
  • develop world-leading frameworks for open ocean and land-based farming
  • support infrastructure needs to enable growth
  • strengthen biosecurity management
  • support the industry to adapt to climate change
  • build Māori and community knowledge about aquaculture and their input into growth opportunities
  • deliver the Crown's aquaculture settlement obligations in a manner that facilitates early investment in new opportunities
  • recognise Māori values and aspirations across the work programme.

Fisheries New Zealand will partner with other agencies to achieve these objectives. We will publish annual implementation plans setting key actions for the year and identifying which agency is responsible for each action. The strategy will be reviewed in 2025 to ensure it remains relevant to:

  • the industry's growth and development
  • evolving community aspirations
  • global change.

Find out more

The Government's Aquaculture Strategy [PDF, 2.9 MB]

Media release: Government delivers a plan for world-leading aquaculture industry – Beehive

MPI funding support for aquaculture

Proposed national environmental standard

An important part of the aquaculture strategy is the development of a nationally-consistent framework under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to manage existing marine aquaculture.

In 2017, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) consulted on a proposed national environmental standard (NES) for marine aquaculture.

An NES is established under the RMA and sets national rules that replace regional council rules. The NES: Marine aquaculture:

  • proposes changes to the re-consenting process for existing marine farms
  • would require all marine farms (existing and new) to have a biosecurity management plan.

In June 2019 Cabinet approved final policy provisions for the drafting of the NES: Marine aquaculture. Following drafting of the new regulations, the NES: Marine aquaculture will be put in front of Cabinet for a final decision in mid-2020.

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