The aquaculture sector
New Caledonian fish farmers have always thought in terms of aquaculture sector. In order to structure it, they joined forces to create SOPAC which process and market the prawns. The industry has four hatcheries and two feed maker to cover breeding needs. A partial crop scheme has been developed to optimise pond management. Relying on local labour, the industry employs 900 people, creating jobs particularly suited to the populations of rural coastal areas. As the territory’s second largest employer and the island’s leading agri-food exporter, it makes a major contribution to economic development, territorial balance and the quality image of New Caledonia’s products.
Contributing to territorial balance, SOPAC has chosen to set up its processing and packaging plant in the north of the island, helping to create jobs for the populations of neighbouring tribes. Inaugurated in 2005, the SOPAC factory benefits from state-of-the-art technological equipment such as grading (the prawn are sorted by hand according to very strict visual criteria and then weighed individually) and ultra-rapid freezing by spraying them with brine at very low temperatures just a few hours after harvesting. The prawn are semi-IQF (individually quick frozen).