Final decision on aquaculture proposals for Golden and Tasman Bays
18 December 2008
The Ministry of Fisheries has made a final decision on the application for 2,109 ha of Interim Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs) in Golden and Tasman Bays.
The Ministry of Fisheries’ final decision is to:
- approve 850 ha of new aquaculture space;
- reserve 1151 ha of space because of its effects on commercial scallop fishing . This space can proceed if scallop quota holders and marine farmers can reach a voluntary agreement; and
- decline 108 ha of space because of effects on fisheries resources.
This is an increase of around 750 ha in approved space from a preliminary decision announced by the Ministry of Fisheries in February 2008.
“The Ministry of Fisheries’ role in making these decisions is to judge whether the interim Aquaculture Management Areas would unduly affect fishing or the sustainability of fisheries in the area” Russell Burnard, Ministry of Fisheries’ Regulatory and Information Manager, said.
“The decision has required thorough analysis because some parts of the interim AMAs are near internationally important intertidal wetlands; and all of the area is valued by both commercial fishers and marine farmers” he says.
“I am satisfied that 850ha of the interim AMAs should proceed. However, I have reserved 1151 ha because I am not satisfied that approving this area would not have an undue adverse effect on the commercial scallop fishery.”
“Aquaculture can be set up in the reserved area if a voluntary agreement can be negotiated between commercial scallop fishers and marine farmers.”
“Voluntary agreements are a new provision in the law, introduced to provide the opportunity for negotiated outcomes between aquaculture and commercial fishing interests” Mr Burnard said.
“There are already over 8000 hectares of existing aquaculture space in the top of the South Island and the cumulative effects of aquaculture on the scallop fishery would be measurable and significant if we had approved the full application” he said.
The Ministry of Fisheries is declining 108 ha of the interim AMAs near Collingwood because of potential undue adverse effects on the sustainability of fisheries in the area and on shore birds living in internationally important wetlands.
"I am concerned about potential effects aquaculture in the area may have on shore birds living in the nearby Farewell Spit inter-tidal wetlands, an area of international importance listed under the Ramsar International Convention on Wetlands” Mr Burnard said.