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Comment from Grant Rosewarne, CEO of New Zealand King Salmon

Published: Tue 5 Feb 2019 03:57 PM
Comment from Grant Rosewarne, CEO of New Zealand King Salmon:
I stand by the statement that finfish aquaculture has the potential to become New Zealand’s most valuable industry and its greenest primary industry. Salmon farming is one of the most efficient forms of animal food production in the world, and we categorically affirm that our farms are managed in balance with the environment.
The NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers have misunderstood a lot of New Zealand King Salmon’s farming practices and have made the mistake of assuming that fish farming in other countries can be directly compared to New Zealand. The article makes allegations about our farming practices that are unsubstantiated and incorrect.
Following this article, I will be inviting Graham Carter, President of the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers, to visit one of our farms to see our practices for himself. We have nothing to hide.
If he decides to visit one of our farms and speak with us, among other things, he will find:
1. Salmon farming is one of the most efficient forms of animal food production in the world with comparatively low CO2 emissions. Appropriately situated salmon farms work within the natural nitrogen cycle.
2. All our farms are swimmable and 98% of our farm space is water, meaning only 2% is taken up by fish.
3. Salmon are highly efficient to farm because they are cold-blooded and virtually weightless in the water. This means they convert feed to weight extremely well and have a high yield because they have a light frame.
4. New Zealand King Salmon has stringent animal welfare, production and environmental measures in place.
5. The farmed salmon industry in New Zealand is globally distinctive for a number of reasons, including the complete absence of antibiotics and sea lice. The species of salmon we farm, called King salmon, is immune to lice and this is the major issue producers are grappling with overseas.
6. The Global Aquaculture Alliance has awarded New Zealand King Salmon a fourth star for responsible aquaculture production, which is the highest designation possible. This is due to our commitment to science-based and continually improving performance standards for our entire aquaculture supply chain — including farms, hatcheries and processing plant. This assures we produce healthy food through environmentally and socially responsible means.
7. The proposed move to the Cook Strait, or Open Ocean farming as we call it, has a range of benefits over the current in-shore method, including improved biosecurity, a reduction in the effects of seasonal temperature changes, improved animal welfare and reduced environmental and community impacts. We do not shoot sealions and adhere to the 1978 Marine Mammal Protection Act. The evidence of this is the number of relaxed playful seals around many of our farms.
8. New Zealand King Salmon does not artificially colour salmon. The pink is due to King salmon’s ability to retain astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant in their natural and farmed diet, that they store in their bodies because of the many health benefits they derive from it. White fish, like cod, are not able to store antioxidants in their bodies.
For anyone else interested in understanding more about our business, we regularly share video footage from under our farms and other updates, along with environmental management plans and monitoring reports on our website - www.kingsalmon.co.nz.
Link: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1901/S00167/salmon-move-is-shifting-goalposts.htm.
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