Big plans to expand the Sanford salmon farm in Stewart Island are underway, with the arrival of a new feed barge in October.
General manager of Aquaculture Ted Culley said the barge would be accompanied by eight new pens – to cater for Stage One of the expansion plans in Big Glory Bay.
The barge “San Hamana” (Maori word for Salmon) was currently being built in Tasmania, but had been held up because of coronavirus.
“The expansion will add jobs in the long term. We are talking years, not months, but we hope to eventually add a total of 40 permanent positions to our salmon team,” he said.
The company employed 150 personnel in its salmon operations, and many of the Stewart Island team spent the entire time in lockdown on the island looking after the farm voluntarily.
“…they went the extra mile to do their bit to keep Stewart Island Covid free. Instead of operating their usual seven day rosters, everybody who was on Stewart Island offered to stay there for Alert Level 4 and then 3.
General manager of communications Fiona MacMillan said Sanford was deeply committed to making Southland its centre of excellence for salmon.
“We have embarked on plans to grow our operations on Stewart Island’s Big Glory Bay without increasing the need for new water space.
“We did this by going through a detailed consenting process with Environment Southland which involved taking advice and guidance from scientific and environmental experts, and listening hard to the local community who want growth, but not at the expense of the environment – which is what we want too.”