The group enjoying the spectacular scenery at Arthur’s Pass National Park in the Southern Alps of the South Island between the Canterbury Region and the West Coast.
North Island deer farm in the Ruahine Mountains. Venison is a thriving industry in New Zealand. The deer are often raised on the same farms as sheep and beef cattle to utilize New Zealand’s abundant forages. Our group visited several of these farms in different parts of the country. The primary market for venison is in Europe, but the farms we visited are looking to increase venison exports to the US and our hosts were very interested in getting the students’ input on how to market their product to American millennials.
Our group meeting with Dr. Kevin Heasman, a researcher at the Cawthrone Institute’s Aquaculture Research Center. Aquaculture is another growing industry in New Zealand. Dr Heasman is researching how to improve production of some species that are already farmed n New Zealand such as green shell mussels, which are popular at Chinese buffet restaurants in the US, and he is also doing the only research in the world on learning how to farm shrimp scampi. Currently scampi are harvested from very deep in the oceans and the nets are 80% filled with marine life that is not intended to be harvested and is harmed by being caught. Farming scampi would be both more efficient and better for the environment. The problem is that scampi live where there’s no light, so no one knows what they eat, how they reproduce, etc. Dr. Heasman is answering those questions and may be developing an entire new industry.