Suppliers to the seafood market have difficulty sourcing white-fleshed fish that is reliably top quality and can be supplied on demand. Market validation undertaken by NIWA with expert chefs identified that farmed hapūku is a premium product.
End user testing at international "white tablecloth" restaurants gave positive feedback on the culinary qualities of hapūku, and a willingness to buy. The KiwiNet Investment committee approved PreSeed funding for a NIWA project, to determine a standard operating procedure for early stage rearing of hapūku juveniles.
By removing the key risk in the farming protocol, NIWA seeks to transfer this technology to industry to create another profitable aquaculture venture in New Zealand.