Preliminary decision on aquaculture proposals for Golden and Tasman Bays
15 February 2008
The Ministry of Fisheries has made a preliminary decision on the 2,108 ha Tasman Interim Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs) in Golden and Tasman Bays.
The council and submitters in the process can make further submissions to the Ministry before the final decision is made – probably in May or June 2008.
The Ministry’s preliminary decision is to:
- approve 108 ha of new aquaculture space;
- decline 554 ha of space because of the effects it would have on fisheries resources and commercial scallop and snapper fishing; and
- decline a further 1447 ha of space because of its effects on commercial scallop and snapper fishing, or both.
Ministry of Fisheries’ aquaculture manager Dan Lees says the Ministry’s preliminary decision may change if additional information shows the effects on commercial fishing and the sustainability of fisheries resources are more or less than currently expected.
He says that where a final decision declines space only because of its effects on commercial fishing, the space could still become AMAs if marine farmers and commercial fishers can reach a voluntary agreement.
The applicant - Tasman District Council – has been told about this preliminary decision, including the potential for fishers and marine farmers to negotiate a voluntary agreement, says Mr Lees.
”The Ministry’s role in making these decisions is to judge whether the interim AMAs would unduly affect fishing or the sustainability of fisheries resources in the area,” Dan says.
“The decision has been very difficult to make because some parts of the interim AMA are located near important intertidal habitats; and most of the area is valued by both commercial fishers and marine farmers,” He says.