Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Inicio > Director General José Graziano da Silva > Sala de prensa > Noticias > Noticias
Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General meets New Zealand’s Minister for Primary Resources

Minister briefs FAO chief on progress in livestock emission mitigation and innovative fishing nets

(Left to right) FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva with the Minister for Primary Industries of New Zealand, Nathan Guy

4 June 2015, Expo Milan (Italy) - FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, today met with New Zealand’s Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, on the margins of the International Agricultural Forum at EXPO Milan, attended by more than 50 agriculture ministers and delegates from more than 100 countries and international organizations.

Research to mitigate methane emissions from livestock

The Minister briefed the Director-General on the country’s progress in the development of mitigation measures for methane emissions from livestock.

“Half of New Zealand’s emissions come from livestock. Our country is basically one big farm and that is a challenge for us,” Guy said in remarks after the meeting, explaining the “great investment” the country has undertaken to mitigate emissions.

“We have had a small breakthrough in the last couple of months and we’ve tried some compounds in the animal’s digestion system to reduce methane emissions. The early indications that we’ve seen is that we have potential to reduce it by 30 to 90 per cent,” he explained. Potentially, he added, “in 5 to 10 years we could have a commercial product, which is fantastic.”

“It could be something like a drench or a vaccine or a slow release poultice. So, this is very, very exciting.

Innovative fishing nets

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silvathanked the Government of New Zealand for its strong support to the FAO programme on fisheries and aquaculture, in particular the high quality interventions at the Committee of Fisheries (COFI). The Primary Industries Ministry portfolio also covers forestry, fisheries and farming, a “big part of New Zealand’s economy.”


In that regard, the Minister informed Graziano da Silva about an innovative net design to enable more sustainable fishing. “It is a fantastic new design. It’s a sort of tubular canvas net design,” he explained. “As the fish swim inside they can select themselves for size so they can escape through the slot holes. The net is designed (in such a way) that when the fish come on board the vessel, they are still alive and the person on the boat can then have another selection process.”

The Minister added that the fish will be kept in “special vessels to be built” and “exported and marketed to very lucrative Asian markets.” “There are huge advantages in terms of sustainability and economic growth. It is going to be world-leading and transform the way that some of the fishing vessels are operating in the world.”