Hawkes Bay Marine Farm Application Now Top of Queue
8 August 2003
An unexpected change has enabled the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) to move an application for a large marine farm off the Hawkes Bay coast to the top of the processing queue.
Napier Mussels Limited's application for a 2465 hectare marine farming permit in Hawkes Bay has reached the top of the national processing priority list because a new initiative from the Marlborough Sounds mussel industry has temporarily moved the majority of applications out of the processing schedule.
MFish Senior Fisheries Management Advisor Scott Williamson said the first step would be to contact representative groups to discuss MFish's consultation and evaluation process. Consultation with potentially affected fishers would follow, and MFish staff would hold meetings with commercial, recreational and customary fishers.
At present, Napier Mussel Ltd holds a coastal permit granted by the Hawkes Bay Regional Council under the Resource Management Act 1991. However, while this gives the company the right to occupy the authorised area, it must hold a marine farming permit in order to farm fish, aquatic life or seaweed, and this permit can only be issued by MFish.
MFish has different responsibilities from Regional Councils. MFish can only grant a marine farming permit when it is satisfied that the marine farming activities will not have an undue adverse effect on fishing (commercial, recreational and customary), or the sustainability of any fisheries resource (fish, aquatic life or seaweed).
Fishers interested in taking part in MFish's consultation process about this application, with particular attention to the impact of the farm on their fishing practices, should contact MFish at: email@example.com.