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Application for Largest Marine Farm in New Zealand

20 June 2005 Press Release from the Ministry of Fisheries

Application for Largest Marine Farm in New Zealand

The Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) is commencing consultation and processing on an application for the largest marine farm in New Zealand. Eastern Seafarms Limited's has applied for a 4,750 hectare marine farm offshore of Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty.

MFish Aquaculture Manager Daniel Lees said the first step would be to meet with potentially affected fishers to discuss MFish's consultation and evaluation process. Consultation with commercial, recreational and customary fishers would follow.

This proposed marine farm is one of a number of applications around New Zealand still to be completed under the old aquaculture law. This means, before any farming can begin, the applicant must obtain both a resources consent from the council and a marine farming permit from MFish.

Under the old law, MFish must be satisfied the propose marine farm would not have an undue adverse effect on fishing (commercial, recreational and customary) or the sustainability of any fisheries resource (fish, aquatic life or seaweed). If MFish finds the proposed marine farm would unduly affect either of these, it cannot issue a marine farming permit. The resource consent is currently under appeal by the Environment Court. Under the dual permit system, MFish is able to process the application but is unable to issue a marine farming permit until the Court has approved the resource consent. Eastern Seafarms Limited has given MFish the approval to go ahead with processing the marine farming permit.

Please note - this is an old application under the old aquaculture law. This is not part of regional council's aquaculture management areas development under the new law enacted on 1 January 2005.

Fishers interested in taking part in MFish's consultation process about this application, with particular attention to the impact of the farm on their fishing practices, should contact MFish at: aquacultureinfo@fish.govt.nz.

ENDS

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