520 hectares of new marine farming space in the Firth of Thames
20 October 2009
The Ministry of Fisheries has announced its decision to approve the 1,783 hectare Wilson’s Bay Aquaculture Management Area (AMA) in the Firth of Thames. Of this area, 520 hectares has been zoned for shellfish farming, with the remainder being access-ways between marine farm blocks.
“I had to carefully consider whether the AMA would unduly affect fishing or the sustainability of the area’s fisheries,” said Ministry of Fisheries Aquaculture Manager Dan Lees.
“The AMA will have some effects on commercial set net fishing, but I’m satisfied the farm will not have an ‘undue’ adverse effect.”
“We like to run an open process,” said Mr Lees. “The Ministry made a preliminary decision in April this year, 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 preliminary decision and I have given the Ministry of Fisheries final approval for the marine farming space to go ahead.”
Before marine farming can start at this site, however, the Regional Council must identify 20 percent of the aquaculture space for allocation to iwi and process resource consents for underlying applicants for the remainder of the available space.