The science, economics, and environmental effects of seafood production in New Zealand.

Thursday 16 February 2023 | 9 am to 4:30 pm
Seafood New Zealand | 7 Waterloo Quay | Wellington

Numbers are limited so RSVP to inge@deepwatergroup.org by 10 February.


Professor Ray Hilborn

University of Washington

Seafood, a winner in low environmental food production impacts

Ray Hilborn is a Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, the University of Washington specializing in natural resource management and conservation. He authored several books including “Ocean Recovery: a sustainable future for global fisheries? (with Ulrike Hilborn) in 2019, “Overfishing: what everyone needs to know” (with Ulrike Hilborn) in 2012, “Quantitative fisheries stock assessment” with Carl Walters in 1992, and “The Ecological Detective: confronting models with data” with Marc Mangel, in 1997 and has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles. He has received the Volvo Environmental Prize, the American Fisheries Societies Award of Excellence, The Ecological Society of America’s Sustainability Science Award, and the International Fisheries Science Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and the American Fisheries Society.

Hugh Dixon

Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL)

The economic and social contribution of seafood to New Zealand

Hugh is the Data Manager at BERL. He is responsible for BERL’s data strategy, development and management, and draws on 20 years of experience in the public and private sector. Hugh has a passion for data, transforming this data into knowledge, and communicating that knowledge. He is a strong advocate for the collection and analysis of data to inform decision-making. His work focuses on the increasing amounts of high-quality data being collected in New Zealand, and making sure that the insights obtained are used to address the many challenges faced by New Zealand.
Hugh was part of the BERL team in 2017 that determined the economic contribution of commercial fishing to the New Zealand economy. In 2022, he oversaw the development of an updated analysis of the economic contribution of commercial fishing to the New Zealand economy.

Dr Stewart Ledgard


Seafood production has lower GHG emissions than food production on land

Prof. Stewart Ledgard is a principal scientist with AgResearch (a Crown Research Institute) in New Zealand, with research expertise in agricultural systems and life cycle assessment (LCA). He has been actively involved in research on carbon footprinting and LCA indicators internationally. This includes being an expert technical reviewer on the European Product Environmental Footprinting method guidelines for dairy and red meat products and on the technical groups for the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) partnership for ruminants covering environmental impacts across supply chains. In New Zealand, he has led and been actively involved in LCA work on carbon footprinting of multiple livestock products. He has published over 140 scientific papers and 10 book chapters, with most of these over the past decade covering LCA.

Volker Kuntzsch

Cawthron Institute

No future without fishing

After spending his youth in Namibia and studying and working in South Africa (he has a Master of Science in Zoology from the University of Stellenbosch), Volker started working for Unilever in Germany and the UK in the 1990s. During this time, he introduced the Marine Stewardship Council certification to the NZ deepwater industry, laying the foundation for his passion for NZ.
Since then, Kuntzsch has had a distinguished 30-year international career with senior executive roles in Tokyo, Namibia, Germany and the US. He was the president of Nippon Suisan (USA), and president and CEO of King & Prince Seafood Corp (USA), before joining Sanford in New Zealand as CEO in 2013. In this role his experience developing awareness of seafood sustainability further strengthened Sanford’s commitment to sustainable practices.
Currently, Volker is CEO of New Zealand's largest independent science organisation, Cawthron Institute ‒ a key player in building sustainable primary industry in New Zealand.

Dion Tuuta

Te Atiawa Trust

The evolving nature of Māori fisheries and challenges for the future

Dion Tuuta (Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Tama, Te Atiawa and Taranaki) is the Chief Executive Officer of Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust, the Post-Settlement Governance Entity for Te Atiawa Iwi.

Prior to taking on this role Dion was the Chief Executive Officer for Te Ohu Kaimoana – the Maori Fisheries Trust where he was responsible for advocating for Maori rights in fisheries. He is a previous Chairman of Port Nicholson Fisheries Limited Partnership and previous Director of Seafood NZ.
Dion’s career has included roles as a Historian, Policy Manager, Communications Manager, and Treaty Negotiator for his Iwi Ngati Mutunga.

He has a significant experience in Crown-Maori relation and was a member of the advisory panel to the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor on the Future of Commercial Fishing in Aotearoa report released in 2021.

Dion lives in Taranaki.

Tom McClurg

Toroa Strategy


Tom has over thirty five years’ experience within various primary sector natural resource management and policy roles in New Zealand during a career in which he has held senior executive positions with The Ministry of Fisheries, Te Ohu Kai Moana, Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, the corporate finance practice of Ernst & Young and Landcorp Farming Limited. Since 2009, he has provided consultancy and directorship services through his company, Toroa Strategy Limited including international fisheries consultancy notably several projects for both the World Bank and the Parties to the Nauru Agreement. Tom is currently the Chair of Fishserve and his recent career is defined by a growing connection to iwi businesses and the role of lead negotiator for Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri in their Treaty Settlement negotiations.

Aaron Irving

Seafood New Zealand, Deepwater Council

Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management

Aaron is formally the CEO of Deepwater Group, is now the General Manager of the SNZ Deepwater Council. Prior to joining Deepwater Group, Aaron was the Executive Officer of the Pearl Producers Association in Western Australia, where he completed the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP) in 2015 and the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) in 2019. Aaron was also the Executive Chair of the National Aquaculture Council from 2016-2019. Aaron acknowledges the entanglement of interests that surround the use of natural resources and is interested in sustainable and responsible resource use. Aaron has experience in fisheries and aquatic environmental policy, and is admitted to High Court of New Zealand as Barrister and Solicitor.