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Success for Plant & Food Research's Seafood Team

12 Jun 2014

Plant & Food Research’s Alistair Jerrett and the team involved in the Precision Seafood Harvesting (PSH) programme had several reasons to celebrate at last night’s second annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards. Mr Jerrett’s 30-year career as an innovator and entrepreneur within the New Zealand seafood industry saw him collect the coveted Researcher Entrepreneur Award, before he and his team also collected the People’s Choice Award and runner up in the BNZ Supreme Award category.

The awards, held at Auckland’s Viaduct Event Centre last night was attended by around 250 people from throughout the research, business and investment sectors, including politicians Hon. Steven Joyce, Nikki Kaye and Grant Robertson, and New Zealander of the year Sir Ray Avery. The annual awards aim to bring together the people and technologies changing the research commercialisation landscape in New Zealand. 

“It’s a great result for the team and a humbling experience for me personally” says Mr Jerrett, Science Group Leader at Plant & Food Research. 

“I guess I’ve always just looked at things and wondered if we could do it better. The answer is almost always yes, so then it’s just a matter of thinking about how. That’s the hard part”.

Plant & Food Research General Manager Seafood Technologies, Danette Olsen says she is "delighted that Alistair was awarded the Researcher Entrepreneur Award recognising  the contribution his innovative technologies have made to the seafood industry."

"The PSH programme is built on more than 30 years of research where Alistair has sought to create a seafood industry that is celebrated internationally for its sustainable, ethical harvest of high quality, premium seafood."

"The People's Choice Award for the PSH programme is an endorsement of the game changing nature of this programme.  It is heartening for the research team and our industry partners to know that our peers are as excited as we are by this programme and its potential to change the way the world fishes." 

Precision Seafood Harvesting is the commercialisation phase of nearly ten years of research. Fishing companies Aotearoa Fisheries, Sanford and Sealord are investing $26 million into the project under a Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) matching the industry investment. Scientists at Plant & Food Research are currently partnering with the fishing companies to develop and trial the technology on commercial fishing vessels.

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