The Ahumoana a Toi laboratory was partly created to drive the aquaculture industry and also train those who wish to work in the sector.
“The facility is one that will not only provide the ability for staff and students to carry out research, but more importantly I see it as a facility for industry,” says the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic CEO, Dr. Alan Hampton.
This is part of the larger scheme of New Zealand’s aquaculture strategy, that aims to create a sustainable industry that will also produce US$ 1 billion a year by 2025, an increase from the US$ 300 million which is currently being exported annually.
Heatley, who opened the lab, assured those at the ceremony which have a conscious eye for the environment.
“For those worried about the environment, they need to remember that there is nothing more sensitive to poor water quality than an oyster. Should you ever hear a Green Party member raving, think about the common oyster that needs high water quality or we would all get poisoned,” said Minister Heatley.
As well as producing oysters, the polytechnic will be conducting a joint study alongside the Cawthron Institute
and one of the largest Chinese aquaculture firms, Oriental Ocean
, to set up a trial to harvest sea cucumbers in Opotiki, New Zealand, reports Bay of Plenty Times.
The trials will be partly run by aquaculture researchers at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, which will take advantage of the campus’ new facilities in order to supply juvenile sea cucumbers.