The original Bay of Plenty Aquaculture Strategy, launched in 2009, was the first Bay of Connections sector strategy to be developed, and was also a New Zealand first. The Regional Aquaculture Organisation (RAO) was established the same year to oversee the actions.

In 2020, RAO members made the decision to establish an industry-funded and governed membership organisation to continue their work.

The Bay of Plenty Aquaculture Group, with its broad membership including mussel farmers, iwi, tertiary providers, local and central government, economic development agencies and supporting industry, aims to act as a pipeline for ideas, actions, and networking in the region’s aquaculture industry.

The guiding principle for aquaculture development in the Bay of Plenty is to achieve well-being for iwi/Māori, the community, and the environment. This includes a well-trained and engaged workforce.

This will be achieved through developments in marine-based aquaculture, land-based aquaculture, and land-based infrastructure. These activities will be underpinned by strategic and collaborative research and technology.

Bay of Connections is a supporter of the Bay of Plenty Aquaculture Group, contributing resources for projects and serving on the Group’s management committee in an ex officio capacity.

In 2022, the Group commissioned Aquaculture Direct Limited to carry out a review of all current work programmes, commercial activities and associated strategies across the Bay of Plenty and prepare a report collating what is planned in the short, medium and long term.

The report ‘A Stocktake of Strategic Aquaculture Opportunities in the Bay of Plenty’ highlights several future focus areas that have helped inform the Group’s forward work programme.

The stocktake report was funded by Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Toi EDA.

For more information about the Bay of Plenty Aquaculture Group contact Graeme Coates, Chair: