Ten new marine farms approved in the South Island
17 December 2009
The Ministry of Fisheries has today announced its recent decisions to approve ten new marine farms, totalling 3143 hectares, in the South Island.
A 2695 hectare farm, 14km offshore in Pegasus Bay north of Banks Peninsula in Canterbury forms the majority of this area. Approval has also been given for a 424 hectare marine farm in Clifford Bay on Marlborough’s east coast with the remainder being 8 small marine farms in the Marlborough Sounds.
The Pegasus Bay Marine Farm will be New Zealand’s second largest once it becomes operational. It will be comprised of four 515 hectare blocks with 500 metre wide ‘fairways’ between each block to allow boat traffic to pass through the area.
“I had to carefully consider whether each marine farm would unduly affect fishing or the sustainability of any fisheries resources,” said Ministry of Fisheries Aquaculture Manager Dan Lees. “I am satisfied the farms will not have an ‘undue’ adverse effect.”
“We paid particular attention to the possible importance of the Clifford Bay site to Hector’s dolphins,” said Mr Lees. “Three years of dolphin monitoring, however, has satisfied the Ministry the site is not likely to be of particular importance to the lifecycle of Hector’s dolphins.
“We run an open process,” said Mr Lees. “The Ministry released initial position papers on all of the ten applications, showing the Ministry’s views at that stage. Everyone got to see what we were thinking and they were able to provide any extra information they wanted to have considered.”
“I did not receive any extra information that gave me cause to change the initial positions and I have given the final approval for marine farming at the ten sites to go ahead.”