Tasman Bay aquaculture space approved
1 July 2010
The Ministry of Fisheries announced today it had approved an application from Wakatu Incorporation for the company to farm green-lipped mussels in 770 hectares of Tasman Bay.
John Beaglehole, Manager, Office of the Chief Executive, said this was one of the few remaining aquaculture applications under the Fisheries Act 1983. The Ministry applied a statutory test in reaching its decision.
“We decided that the proposed marine farm would not unduly affect fishing or the sustainability of fisheries resources in the area,” Mr Beaglehole said.
The proposed farm is located in a commercial flatfish fishery, but the Ministry considers the proposed farm would not have an undue adverse effect on the fishery.
Wakatu Incorporation previously applied for a marine farming permit at the site of the current application in 2003. The Ministry declined this application in April 2007 due to concerns about the effects on commercial fishing.
At that time the Ministry had very limited quantitative information to help it assess how the proposed farm would affect commercial catch.
“Since then, new information has become available showing that the impacts on commercial fishing would be considerably less than previously anticipated,” Mr Beaglehole said.
The application was made under the old aquaculture law (the Fisheries Act 1983) because it was notified by the regional council before the moratorium on aquaculture development came into effect in November 2001.
“This means the applicant had to obtain both a resource consent from the local council and a marine farming permit from the Ministry of Fisheries,” Mr Beaglehole said.
Under the old law, the Ministry may issue a marine farming permit only if it is satisfied that the proposed marine farm would not have an undue adverse effect on fishing (commercial, recreational and customary) or on the sustainability of any fisheries resource (fish, aquatic life or seaweed).
The proposed farm may now be developed in four stages, in accordance with an Adaptive Management Programme approved by the Marlborough District Council. Environmental monitoring will be undertaken at each stage. Development can proceed only if the Council is satisfied that the marine farm is not having a significant adverse effect on the environment.
For the full decision, go to http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Consultations/Archive/2010/Wakatu+Inc/default.htm