Published 16 November 2012
Sanford Ltd said a research project announced in Nelson yesterday would bring a fundamental change to the value of the mussel industry. Sanford will be the commercial partner behind a $26 million, 7-year innovation contract to selectively breed greenshell mussels for the first time.
The contract between the Ministry for Primary Industries and Shellfish Production & Technology NZ Ltd (SPATnz) includes commercial partner Sanford and research partners the Cawthron Institute and Plant & Food Research. The commercial & public investments in the research will be $13 million from each side.
The first marine farms were established in the 1970s and Sanford is in its second year of an export push into China, which has grown by 30%.
Sanford managing director Eric Barratt said farmed mussels had been grown from wild spat. Commercialising techniques to selectively breed & grow spat for their taste & size profiles would transform the market.
Construction will start in Nelson early next year on a hatchery building, nursing building & 3 ponds, each about 1500m². The first significant quantities of commercially bred mussels are planned for 2015.
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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.