COURTS FIND TWO PERMITS NECESSARY BEFORE A MARINE FARM CAN BE ESTABLISHED
26 September 2003
The Ministry of Fisheries has welcomed a Court of Appeal decision handed down on Thursday 25 September, that marine farmers are not entitled to erect structures in the water for the purpose of marine farming until the Ministry of Fisheries has granted the necessary permit.
This clarifies the law and confirms that establishment of a marine farm requires two permits;
- a resource consent granted by a local authority
- a marine farming permit issued by the Ministry of Fisheries, which considers effects of a marine farm on fishing and the sustainability of fisheries resources.
Marine farmers have contested that they may erect farm structures on the basis of a coastal permit alone, before a marine farming permit has been issued. A number of farms have established structures on this basis, particularly in the Marlborough Sounds.
"The Court of Appeal's decision clarifies a grey area in the law," said Ministry of Fisheries Senior Fisheries Management Advisor, Scott Williamson. "The decision means public access to coastal waters is not diminished where both permits are not issued."
"I am pleased with the decision, and the Ministry will now work closely with the aquaculture industry to facilitate the removal of structures that have been established before acquiring both the necessary authorisations."
Mr Williamson said the Ministry of Fisheries was making good progress in dealing with an influx of applications for marine farming permits.
"We have greatly expanded the team dealing with marine permits, clarified expectations about the information and expert opinions prospective marine farmers should provide and have also put considerable effort into clearly communicating what is required," he said.
"These moves have enabled us to make a preliminary decision on nearly 45 per cent of active applications, and most of these applicants have been asked to provide additional research."
For further information please contact
Scott Williamson, Senior Fisheries Management Advisor, Ministry of Fisheries
Telephone 027 268 7058