Aquaculture is the breeding and growing of animals and plants in the water. Most aquaculture in New Zealand is in the sea but it can also happen on land, in ponds or tanks.
The main commercial species farmed in New Zealand are green lipped mussels and Pacific oysters. Green lipped mussels are grown on lines suspended from floats on the surface, while Pacific oysters are grown on intertidal racks. Other species farmed include salmon, paua, snapper and kingfish.
Aquaculture in the Bay of Plenty
There are three oyster farms in the Bay of Plenty. They are all in the Ōhiwa Harbour and are approximately two hectares each in size.
A 3,800 hectare marine farm off Ōpōtiki, the largest marine farm in New Zealand, was approved by the Minister of Conservation in February 2008.
Regional aquaculture strategy
Aquaculture is a key focus area in the Bay of Connections Regional Economic Development Strategy. The Bay of Plenty Aquaculture Strategy was launched in 2009 and updated in 2013. A Regional Aquaculture Organisation was established in 2010 to implement the Strategy.
The goal of the strategy is to grow an integrated and sustainable aquaculture industry in the Bay of Plenty with export sales of $250 million by 2025.