Local fish - from China

By Lynley Bilby

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Squid are making a round trip of more than 18,000km on their way to your dinner plate - after they are caught.

Some brands of frozen fish caught in New Zealand waters are processed in China, before being sent back to New Zealand to be sold as local product.

Independent, Sanford and Sealord send a portion of their catches halfway around the world to be partly processed before they return to New Zealand for final processing.

Independent Fisheries general manager Mark Allison said some squid, southern blue whiting and hoki went to a company-owned plant in China for gutting and skinning, before being flown back for packaging.

Allison said the travel miles kept the South Island firm competitive in a global market. Rising costs made it prohibitive to process the product entirely in New Zealand.

Sealord public affairs manager Alison Sykora said company policy was to process all catch locally for the New Zealand market but deep-sea dory fillets and two hoki products were part-processed in China for less than 5 per cent of the company's sales.

Sanford managing director Eric Barratt said only 1 per cent of the company's catch was partly processed in China.

- Herald on Sunday

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