If you are interested in a career in Aquaculture we have a number of training providers listed
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NZIER report on the economic contribution of marine farming in the Marlborough region
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THE BLUE MUSSEL PROJECT: Research into a solution to the oversettlement of blue mussels.
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90 MILE BEACH PROJECT: Research to assess the quality and viability of spat before it leaves Kaitaia.
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MARINE FARM COMPLIANCE: Marine farm compliance audit partnership programme
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Marlborough Shellfish Quality Programme (MSQP) |New Zealand's aquaculture industry has built its reputation on seafood produced in a clean safe environment and leads the world in its quality management programmes.

When we take food from the ocean there are risks arising from the biotoxins, bacteria and viruses. We promote our seafood as being healthy and produced in pristine water. Therefore we have an obligation both commercially and morally to ensure that claim is backed by a rigorous food safety programme. Our programmes are considered the most robust in the world and we regularly host overseas industry representatives looking to learn from our systems and leading edge technologies.

Many shellfish such as mussels, cockles and scallops are filter feeders meaning they literally filter their food from the sea water by pumping the water through their gills. A typical mussel filters 360 L of water each day. As a result it concentrates any micro organisms, chemicals or toxins present in the environment.
To ensure food safety both shellfish and water are monitored for

  • Biotoxins
  • Bacteria
  • Heavy metals - (industrial pollution - more of a concern overseas)

The industry funds just on $1,000,000 of sampling and testing each year in the top of the South Island, and that's before the product reaches the processing plants and under goes additional testing.

There are two unique factors that distinguish our programmes from others around the world. The first is the co-operative approach between industry, scientists and regulators - resulting in continuous improvement, efficiency gains and very high compliance. The second is that the programmes are 100% industry funded in contrast to competing industries overseas where the programmes are funded and operated entirely by Government agencies. New Zealand is divided into 26 delivery centres that are responsible for operating the programme in their own areas. The MSQP delivery centre covers the growing waters from approximately 80% of New Zealand's aquaculture exports are produced and extends from Port Underwood, Queen Charlotte and Pelorus Sounds and Golden Bay.

Marlborough Shellfish Quality Programme (MSQP) is an incorporated society and is governed by seven elected members of industry plus representatives from the regulatory authority.

Sampling | Each year we collect and test approximately 6000 water and shellfish samples. Our testing officers are on the water throughout the year in all weather and sea conditions. The programme operates 365 days a year. For all the testing that is carried out the greatest opportunity for assuring the food safety and acceptable water quality, is to not contaminate the water in the first place. The MSQP programmes monitor for contamination of both the water and the shellfish.

For further information please contact:
Marlborough Shellfish Quality Programme
PO Box 767
Blenheim
Phone: 03 578 5048 Fax: 03 578 5049
Email: msqp@xtra.co.nz

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