Independent scientific research for the benefit of New Zealand.

Ka Hao te Rangatahi: Revolutionary Potting Technologies and Aquaculture for Scampi

There is a need to increase the sustainability and efficiency of the wild scampi (Metanephrops challengeri) capture fishery, and an opportunity to develop new income streams through land-based aquaculture systems. The existing fishery is based on trawling methods and, due to the low catch per unit effort and the high fuel costs, only 57 percent of the current quota is being harvested.

By linking Maori innovation with leading edge research, innovative design, and engineering, this programme aims to deliver increased economic returns, competitive advantage, and a sustainable scampi industry for Aotearoa using two new production approaches:

  • Employing innovative Maori based potting technologies, scampi-specific attractants, novel remotely triggered retrieval systems, and novel post-harvest systems to optimise catch and product value
  • Using wild-caught female scampi carrying eggs as broodstock to form the basis of a new land-based aquaculture industry.

By providing alternative and more sustainable methods for harvest, which are grounded in Maori knowledge, and by taking key steps towards domesticating scampi, the programme marks the first major advance in this fishery since it began in the late 1980's. Premium returns will drive rapid uptake of our new technologies by the scampi industry with the potential to achieve exports of $200m by 2030.

A new hatchery has been built at Cawthron Aquaculture Park near Nelson to improve understanding of New Zealand scampi and establish the world’s first captive breeding programme for the species.

The programme is being advised by an international Technical Advisory Group of science, industry, marine technology, fishing, and aquaculture industry experts from England, Scotland, Portugal, USA, and Australia.

Main research outcomes:

  • Significant advances in the wild capture and transportation of top-condition broodstock to our aquaculture facility
  • World-first progress on hatching and on-growing larval scampi from broodstock females. New knowledge and equipment developed to enable the capture of larval scampi as they hatch, and subsequent development through all three larval stages, and onto post larval
  • First scampi reared in captivity turned one in July 2016
  • Developed new pot system for capturing scampi in the field

Funder: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Partners and collaborators: University of Auckland, Waikawa Fishing Company and Zebra-Tech Ltd.

News stories:
Scampi aquaculture programme launched
Scampi farming breakthrough
Watch the scampi story aired on Maori Television's Project Whenua (Series 1, Episode 9)

For more information, please contact Shaun Ogilvie or view our Aquaculture Services.

One of the first New Zealand scampi raised in captivity.