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Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today announced $950,000 in government support for Southland’s aquaculture industry.

Aquaculture is a key focus of the Southland Regional Development Strategy Action Plan, which aims to diversify Southland’s economy, grow the population and strengthen local business.

“Southland’s climate and ocean conditions lend themselves to sustainable and efficient production of high quality seafood. There is a great opportunity here to build an internationally competitive industry that will create a range of skilled, non-seasonal jobs for the region,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Government has already contributed $200,000 to scientific surveys that identified potential areas for finfish aquaculture.

“An additional $750,000 will now be made available to fund the significant amount of further scientific and social research that will be required to determine the environmental and cultural suitability of sites in Stewart Island.”

Mr Guy says aquaculture is a high value industry and the Government would like to see the industry’s contribution grow, for the benefit of Southland and the wider economy.

“Marine farming technologies are advancing and ever more able to create new production and harvesting methods and high value products, which will help Southland diversify and reduce any dependence on commodities.

“This is an opportunity that will require collaboration across central and local government, support from the local community and private investment.”

The Southland Regional Development Strategy Action Plan has been developed by the region with central government support. It forms part of the Government’s Regional Growth Programme, which looks to increase jobs, income and investment in regional New Zealand. Individual actions in the plan are led by various different agencies.

The new funding is provided by the Ministry for Primary Industries. More information is available here.

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