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New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) announced today that it will enter into mediation talks with certain parties early next year for the Blue Endeavour offshore farm project. After six years, the project got approval from the Marlborough District Council in mid-November. However, as the marine produce firm reports, the decision is being appealed by the McGuinness Institute think tank, as well as the New Zealand Department of Conservation, which is proposing several conditions for approval.

A long-term project

As Graeme Tregidga, Acting Chief Executive of NZKS stated at the time of announcing the approval of the Blue Endeavour project, although the current focus remains on the company’s inshore farming production, open ocean is part of the company’s long-term strategy. “This is a first for New Zealand and is a significant decision for the aquaculture industry”, he said at the time.

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In the same announcement Grant Lovell, New Zealand King Salmon General Manager of Aquaculture, claimed that open ocean farming makes logical sense for both the environment and for the species in the long term. Something that makes even more sense after the mortality problems faced by the company that led to significant losses and a fall in the stock market, as well as complaints from activists.

Opposing opinions

“As a result of rising water temperatures, NZKS is becoming an early victim of climate change”, acknowledged the think tank that appealed the decision. “Recently, NZKS is changing its business model to account for and seek out cooler water to farm salmon”, they added in a clear reference to the Blue Endeavour project.

However, the McGuinness Institute stated that water temperatures are rising even in Cook Strait, where New Zealand King Salmon plans to set up its offshore farm. “NZKS also contributes to climate change by emitting carbon when importing fish feed, cooling water, and exporting salmon”, they said.

About New Zealand King Salmon

New Zealand King Salmon has been farming and selling king salmon to consumers in Aotearoa and overseas for more than 30 years. Since then, it has built up a good share of the domestic market, as well as a successful track record in overseas markets. The company pioneered marine salmon farming in New Zealand, using king salmon stocks introduced from California over 100 years ago.

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