No merger but quotas on agenda

Last updated 05:00 16/08/2014

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Two of New Zealand's largest fishing companies have denied they are considering merging.

Auckland-based Sanford Fishing and Nelson-based Sealord were this week reported to be in talks to consolidate their fishing efforts.

But Sanford chief executive Volker Kuntzsch told Undercurrent News the two companies had discussed only combined quotas on certain vessels. "A merger isn't on the agenda," he said.

Sealord told Undercurrent that it was building a good record of collaboration with Sanford as a way of addressing the headwind created by the strong New Zealand dollar.

"We are always looking for opportunities to make better use of our assets and these conversations with Sanford are part of this."

Sanford inshore fisheries manager Shane Walsh said, "We were talking about why do we have all these vessels catching hoki? Why don't we work together and create a one-fleet-type approach?"

Sealord fishing general manager Doug Paulin said both companies had excess fishing capacity. Consolidating their fleets would be "a huge opportunity to save costs in a pretty tough industry at the moment".

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