New Zealand King Salmon wins approval to move offshore amidst climate challenges

by
Editorial Staff

Move comes as a response to rising water temperatures and the resulting health challenges for fish.

New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS), the country’s largest salmon farmer, has received approval from the nation’s fishing industry representative body, Fisheries New Zealand, to proceed with its offshore farming plans.

The deep water project, named Blue Endeavour, comprises two pens stocked with smolt in offshore waters, and is expected to add approximately 10,000 metric tons to NZKS’s production capacity.

Fisheries New Zealand, a division of the Ministry for Primary Industries, conducted an undue adverse effects test (UAE test) to assess the potential impact of the proposed marine farm on fishing activities.

Following the approval, a 30-working day judicial review period is now in effect, during which the High Court will review the decision-making process for legal compliance.

NZKS is now closer to activating its already granted resource consent for offshore production, with the review period set to complete on February 28.

Higher temperatures to blame

In 2021, the company reported increased mortality levels, a problem it attributed to exceptionally high sea temperatures.

Since then, the salmon producer has been navigating a process to shift parts of its production to deeper, cooler offshore waters, including the fallowing of some sites.

These strategies have led to a significant reduction in fish mortalities and a notable improvement in the company’s earnings for the first half of the 2024 financial year with EBITDA in the six months to July 31, hitting NZD 10.7 million ($6.3 million) up from a loss of NZD 12.7 million ($7.5 million) the previous year.

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