Aquaculture

We are experts in the care, cultivation and breeding of finfish, shellfish and seaweed.

Cawthron_Aquaculture

Aquaculture

We are experts in the care, cultivation and breeding of finfish, shellfish and seaweed.

Our research and development directly supports the success of New Zealand’s ocean economy. We collaborate with industry on innovative solutions that optimise the performance and quality of New Zealand’s key aquaculture species (oyster, mussel and salmon) without environmental compromise. We are at the forefront of research that will support the integration of seaweed as the third pillar of our aquaculture industry, alongside finfish and shellfish.​

Aquatic Animal Health and Biosecurity

Our scientists are experts in improving the health, welfare and biosecurity of our aquatic animals to the benefit of New Zealand’s economy and environment. We provide independent aquatic disease diagnostic commercial services, pest and disease risk assessments and pharmaceutical trial services to clients in New Zealand and the Pacific.  

Cawthron_Aquatic Animal Health and Biosecurity_Scientists researching oysters

Breeding 

Cawthron Institute’s world-leading advanced shellfish and finfish breeding programmes and technologies now underpin a significant portion of New Zealand’s aquaculture production. We use advanced technologies ranging from quantitative genetic analysis techniques that calculate breeding values, to the cryopreservation of juvenile finfish sperm, and shellfish gametes and larvae, to optimise performance and build the resilience of our finfish and shellfish seafood industries.

Cawthron_AQ_Cawthron Breeding

Environmental Interactions

Cawthron Institute is home to New Zealand’s largest aquaculture monitoring and impact assessment team with over 30 years experience developing practical and novel approaches to monitoring the farming environment. This includes eDNA monitoring technologies to assess seabed conditions beneath farm sites and the use of data buoys to allow marine farmers to remotely monitor conditions at their farming sites.

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Nutrition

Cawthron Institute researchers are global experts in aquatic animal nutrition. We develop and test new diets to enhance the survival and performance of a range of finfish and shellfish species, including our most important farmed species: mussels, oysters and salmon. We work closely with New Zealand’s thriving aquaculture industry to provide optimised nutrition solutions that are tailored for each species. We grow ‘gourmet’ algae to meet these nutritional needs at our custom-built aquaculture park.

Cawthron_AQ_Nutrition

Species Diversification

Cawthron’s scientific expertise supports our aquaculture industry in the development of emerging species with a view to diversifying New Zealand’s aquaculture portfolio. This not only generates new economic opportunities, but builds the sustainability, efficiency and resilience of the industry to ensure it grows and evolves alongside the global seafood industry and adapts to environmental challenges.

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Aquaculture and Ocean Technologies

Cawthron Institute researchers are expert providers of technology solutions to the aquaculture industry, from hatchery to open ocean farming. We hold expertise in continuous micro and macro algae production systems, recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) for fish and crustaceans, and bespoke design services for open ocean production of finfish, shellfish and seaweed.

Cawthron_AQ_Aquacutulture and Ocean Technologies

Aquaculture Projects

Aquatic Animal Health Research Programme

Aquatic Animal Health Research Programme

The national Shellfish Aquaculture Research Platform is the hub of shellfish aquaculture research in Aotearoa. Delivery of the Platform’s research objectives has required a collaborative effort between its leaders at Cawthron Institute and a range of partners including Māori, crown research institutes, universities, international researchers and companies within New Zealand’s shellfish industry.

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BeNeZe: A kingfish parasite diagnosis and management tool

BeNeZe: A kingfish parasite diagnosis and management tool

The Cawthron Institute has developed BeNeZe – a decision support tool for managing skin (Benedenia seriolae, Neobenedenia girellae), and gill fluke (Zeuxapta seriolae) infections in kingfish and amberjacks (Seriola species). The tool helps to determine the best time to treat parasites based on local conditions. It also helps recognise signs of ectoparasite flatworm infections.

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Shellfish Aquaculture Research Platform

Shellfish Aquaculture Research Platform

The national Shellfish Aquaculture Research Platform is the hub of shellfish aquaculture research in Aotearoa. Delivery of the Platform’s research objectives has required a collaborative effort between its leaders at Cawthron Institute and a range of partners including Māori, crown research institutes, universities, international researchers and companies within New Zealand’s shellfish industry.

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Contact us 

Do you have a query about our aquaculture research and services? Get in touch with our team using the form below.