Mesh Industries fully supports the efforts of governments around the world in developing frameworks for open ocean and offshore fish farming regulations.
The benefits of open ocean and offshore fish farming regulations accrue to all stakeholders in the industry and we would like to spotlight the efforts of the Pacific Rim governments in New Zealand, Chile and the USA in working with industry to advance regulatory environments supportive of the development of sustainable open ocean and offshore fish farming industries.
In New Zealand, advancing sustainable open ocean fish farming is part of the overall Aquaculture Strategy to develop aquaculture to be a NZD3 billion industry by 2035 from just NZD600 million in 2019.
The Government intends to partner with the industry in developing a productive, sustainable and inclusive aquaculture industry that is resistant to climate change. In offering a regulatory environment to drive positive industry development as well as research and development support for new products and technologies, the Government believes it can assist New Zealand producers to position themselves as world leaders offering sustainable and highly valued seafood products globally.
A 6 year testing and development program was started in Chile in 2019 and the first development phase has being completed with excellent farm cost and fish performance results for the EcoSea SpA developed solution incorporating copper alloy mesh nets.
Having successfully trialed the baseline technology the next steps are the development of a regulatory and supervisory environment and integrating remote automation technologies to the trial cage. A bipartisan bill to drive economic growth and job creation in the offshore aquaculture industry has reached the US Senate and aims to establish national standards and clarify the regulatory system for offshore farming.
The bill also supports technology research and development for further industry development. Lawmakers also highlighted the system effects outside direct employment in offshore fish farming, for example in the broader agricultural industry in feed production and in downstream processing.
In response to the economic, job creation and environmental benefits that open ocean and offshore fish farming can offer these 3 governments offer encouraging examples of advancing the regulatory environment and supporting the development of new technologies to help the industry grow.