mfish surprised by northland regional council funds request
21 November 2002
MFish surprised by Northland Regional Council funds request
The Ministry of Fisheries is surprised that the Northland Regional Council should request funding from the Ministry of Fisheries to clean up Waikare Inlet oyster leases.
Oyster farms in the upper inlet have been closed because of reported cases of the Norwalk virus, and the Northland Regional Council alleges it will cost millions of dollars to remove oysters and structures from the affected farms.
"Licenses were granted for the oyster farms from the late 1960's after being approved as growing areas by Health Authorities at the time but the entire infrastructure around the inlet has changed since then," said senior fisheries management advisor Scott Williamson.
"A number of government departments have been responsible for water quality issues over the years, and Councils have been responsible since at least the introduction of the Resource Management Act 1991.
"The Ministry has a role in ensuring the leaseholders maintain the farms in good order, but is not responsible for water quality."
Mr Williamson said the Northland Regional Council had ignored Ministry of Fisheries' attempts to ensure all possible options were discussed. The Council had chosen not to provide the Ministry of Fisheries with either an opportunity to provide input into, or a copy of the report from their Environmental Consultant.
For further information please contact Scott Williamson, Tel 027 268 7058