NZ Aquaculture Species

New Zealand has a limited number of species that may be suitable for aquaculture. Like agriculture not every species of animal or plant is destined to become a feature of our dining experience. Some species are more suited to domestication than others. From a farming perspective we are looking for a rapidly growing organism that gets to a marketable size at low cost but one that fetches a much higher price in the market than what we produced it for.

Market price and farm gate price are quite different. Farm gate price is the value that the fresh product can be sold for at harvest.  Market price can have many points throughout the post-harvest value chain (i.e. auction, wholesale market, supermarket or restaurant) right through to when it is sold to the end consumer.  For simplicity, farm gate price is an easy comparison to production cost to determine profitability.

Currently the core aquaculture species that are commercially produced in NZ are:

Other species are farmed but their combined commercial value is minimal. Some species are still in the research or pre-commercial stages and these include sea cucumbers, kina, rock lobsters, kingfish and hapuka. Trout (Rainbow trout) is a species that has great potential for land based farming in NZ but it is currently illegal to farm this species.

The following map shows where the different species are farmed in NZ.

Locations of aquaculture operations by species in NZ

Locations of aquaculture operations by species in NZ

The New Zealand Government has produced a list of species that may be legally farmed in New Zealand (106 in total). That list of potential aquatic species can be found at the following page: 

A List of Gazetted Species

All other species including trout are not able to be farmed in New Zealand.

Top 10 NZ Species

Top 10 NZ Land Based Aquaculture Species

The top 10 aquaculture species, in approximately the order of their commercial potential.

Modelled Species

Modelled Species

The economic models presented on this site are based on the use of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).

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