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Aquaculture welcomes $2.9m funding

Published on 8 December, 2006, Last updated at 14:08 GMT

By Nick Churchouse

NZ - The government has announced $2.9 million in support for aquaculture, with hints of more.

The money was announced yesterday as a forward instalment on long-awaited support for New Zealand's aquaculture industry.

A $900,000 slice will be split between aquaculture operations in Northland, Auckland and Waikato. The rest would help regional councils plan and consult on new aquaculture management areas.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said the industry had scope for jobs and export dollars, but only if planned properly.

New Zealand Aquaculture Council chairman Callum McCallum said the $2.9 million in support was minuscule compared with what was needed, but welcome. "To make aquaculture run we'll need much more but it's certainly the right direction," he said.

The public and councils had become too wary of aquaculture, and the industry wanted the Government to help dispel myths.

"We needed them to come out in public and say aquaculture is good because no one has ever said that before," he said.

The $2.9 million announcement backs up a speech by Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard this week, where he said aquaculture had huge potential benefits for New Zealand.

More announcements responding to the aquaculture council's strategy are due early next year.


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