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Research & Development

Port Nicholson Fisheries operates in a complex ecosystem.  Lobster fishing is a tightly regulated industry in New Zealand with layers of compliance in place to protect the long term sustainability of seafood stocks.  As a major exporter we engage both upstream with fishers and regulators and downstream with distributors and customers. To export a live product, the challenges of maintaining the health of kōura (lobsters) are considerable.  Although lobsters can survive for days out of water, they are very sensitive creatures and experience stress when exposed to light, air or handling, such as during transportation.  Our research and development efforts are directed at better understanding and managing the many factors that impact the quality of our products, improving survival and reducing waste.

For transportation of live seafood, polystyrene has benefits.   It is waterproof, insulates well and readily available.  But it is seldom recycled and its environmental impact cannot be ignored. As polystyrene bins become less acceptable in many markets, as well as to New Zealanders, Port Nicholson Fisheries is actively exploring alternative packaging technologies in an effort to further reduce our environmental footprint while still protecting lobsters from temperature and humidity fluctuations during transportation.

Handling with Care

Working with live product requires the strictest handling procedures.  Port Nicholson Fisheries strives for better survivability of lobsters through a detailed traceability program. Dozens of factors are known to affect a lobster's health and likelihood of its survival during transport.  Some of these, such as ocean temperatures, are beyond our control but may be better managed if well understood.  Other factors, such as the quality of water in our holding tanks are more easily controlled.  We are committed to furthering our understanding of lobster survival and sharing this knowledge with our fisher and transportation partners.

Customer Insights

In cooperation with partners such as New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, we work with leading consultancies to dig into the motivations and needs of our current and future customers, exploring new and better ways to make the best use of the valuable natural resource that is kōura (lobster).

Automation & IT

Ongoing upgrades to our export facilities and depots enable us to more seamlessly manage the movement of lobsters through our domestic distribution chain and match that flow with the data requirements required by industry regulators. 

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