Press Release – Seafood New Zealand
The Prime Minister John Key called New Zealand’s seafood ‘the best in the world’ in opening the Seafood Industry Conference in Wellington.
John Key said he’s travelled all over the world and eaten seafood in all sorts of places, but ‘without doubt New Zealand produces the best and I’ll challenge anyone to show me better.”
“I’ve hosted Hilary Clinton, to Will and Kate, and they’ve all been impressed by our seafood,” he told delegates.
At a political panel debate later on in the programme, the Green’s Steffan Browning clashed with Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy over the government’s handling, this time last year, of the dispute between recreational and commercial allocations in Snapper 1, the fishery off Auckland’s eastern coast.
Steffan Browning said the government’s handling of the recreational fishing quota led to ‘an appalling outcome’ of inconsistent size limits.
Nathan Guy responded by listing the contribution the commercial industry had made to reducing discards, monitoring and data collection in the fishery, a contribution worth many millions of dollars.
Keynote speaker at the Conference, Terje Martinussen, from the Norwegian Seafood Council, told delegates that his industry regarded the recent news of Russia closing its borders to imports from Norway as ‘a challenge’.
He strongly advocated country of origin branding for Norwegian seafood exports, based on the ‘perfect conditions’ for salmon production in Norway.
But Terje Martinussen said it was vital to do in-depth market research in each importing country, since the buying priorities of customers in each were likely to vary, though health attributes and taste were usually what was most important.
He said the Norwegian industry had developed the world’s best seafood information database and he said he was interested in looking at ways to work with the New Zealand industry to drive quality seafood consumption round the world.
For salmon he said, one of the keys to successful marketing was to appeal to children’s’ tastebuds.
“Kids love salmon,” he said.