Salmon farm sex switch pondered

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2013
janie annear ryuji muramoto
NATASHA MARTIN/ Fairfax NZ

GROWING GIFT: Among the gifts exchanged by members of the Eniwa delegation and Timaru mayor Janie Annear was a large decorative planter made in the city of Eniwa, presented by Eniwa Chamber of Commerce and industry chairman Ryuji Muramoto.

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Several tonnes of salmon sperm, or milt, is one of the more unusual items on Japan's Eniwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry's shopping list as a delegation visits South Canterbury this week.

Eniwa companies are looking to source between 25 and 100 tonnes of the product within the next two years, chamber chairman Ryuji Muramoto said yesterday.

Mr Muramoto and a 12-strong delegation from Eniwa are in South Canterbury this week looking at options for growing business opportunities between the two areas.

Salmon milt has a range of uses, including cosmetics and skincare and in air and cigarette filters.

New Zealand-farmed salmon were all female, but Mt Cook Salmon is looking at the possibility of diversifying to supply the product.

Mr Muramoto said the price of any South Canterbury-produced milt would ultimately be a factor in whether a trade developed.

Much of the milt required by the Japanese companies is sourced from wild salmon in Japan, but finding a New Zealand source would help provide a year-round supply.

The delegation was also looking to source more products for the Timaru store in Eniwa which more than one million people pass by annually.

But the trade might not be all one way. Mr Muramoto, a restaurateur, said businessmen were investigating establishing a Japanese restaurant in the district.

While in Timaru the delegation has also spoken to high schools about overseas student options and to the Aoraki Polytechnic regarding the possibility of Japanese students studying English here.

A handful of South Canterbury companies were now exporting to Japan as a result of the links formed between the two business organisations a decade ago.

Mayor Janie Annear said the link had assisted South Canterbury businesses to get into the difficult Japanese market.

"It helped them develop the confidence to get into a market which is very, very difficult."

Mrs Annear said the district had also benefited through tourism, with Eniwa citizens visiting Timaru for events including the rose festival.

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- The Timaru Herald

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