Primary sector industries in New Zealand are under increasing pressure from community to produce products with lower environmental impacts, to both air and water. Contrasting these pressures is a growing world-wide demand for protein, which historically required increased intensification and associated negative environmental impacts. One area promoted for environmental mitigation is the fencing of riparian zones along waterways. The practicalities of this can create operational issues and large areas of land can essentially become non-productive for livestock and timber production. Novel solutions could provide commercial benefit from within these riparian zones. Ernslaw One Ltd. have created approximately 20 hectares of ponds along riparian edges in their Otago and Southland forests. These ponds are used to farm freshwater crayfish or kōura (Paranephrops zealandicus) in areas that would otherwise be unproductive as production forest can no longer be grown there for environmental reasons. Customers are increasingly looking for niche foods with unique provenance such as kōura. Currently the kōura industry is in its infancy but there are many groups with licence applications underway. Utilisation of these landscape units add scale and speed towards development of a viable industry with domestic and export potential. High-value novel products such as kōura demonstrate that revenue can be obtained with little environmental impact. Keywords: kōura; aquaculture; diversification; sustainable; freshwater
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 80, Online, 80-83, 2020
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