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New Zealand invests in new mussel spat hatchery

June 2, 2022  By Hatchery International staff

New Zealand’s minister of economic development has announced that the government will be developing a much needed mussel spat hatchery in its Bay of Plenty region.

The minister, Hon. Stuart Nash, said the government is looking to provide more support to the country’s aquaculture industry through a new Regional Strategic Partnership Fund (RSPF). The government will initially invest $500,000 as equity for the development of the mussel spat hatchery and research hub in Te Moana-a-Toi Bay of Plenty, but up to $6 million could be released, alongside investment from other investors.

This is the second major investment from the new RSPF, following the government equity stake in the Geo40 Lithium Recovery project near Taupō.

Nash said in a press release that the new hatchery will significantly decrease New Zealand’s reliance on mussel spat sourced in the wild.


“Having a reliable source of quality hatchery spat is an important step in helping the nation’s aquaculture industry be more resilient, improving its supply chain and securing its long-term sustainability,” he said.  “This wild-sourced spat is unreliable in terms of quantity and quality compared to spat bred in a hatchery. Despite this clear quality difference, more than 80 per cent of the industry currently relies on spat caught in the wild, and it cannot guarantee sufficient supply for existing mussel farms now, let alone into the future.”

Nash adds in a statement that developing the hatchery is important in empowering Māori, the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand, to help grow aquaculture in Aotearoa and improve Māori prosperity.

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