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“Excluded areas” for marine farming identified

September 28, 2006

MEDIA STATEMENT
“Excluded areas” for marine farming identified

Environment Canterbury has identified 23 areas in the Canterbury Coastal Marine Area that will be excluded from marine farming or aquaculture activities. This is an early step in the implementation of new aquaculture reform legislation. The so-called excluded areas will soon be notified by public notice.

Under the new system, aquaculture can be established within areas specifically identified in regional coastal plans as aquaculture management areas or AMAs. Areas with existing marine farms are considered AMAs. Regional councils can also create new AMAs or can choose to create new AMAs by private plan change. In implementing the legislation Environment Canterbury chose not to create new AMAs but to allow for private plan changes. “That means anybody who wishes to start a marine farm outside an existing AMA or an excluded area can be invited by Environment Canterbury to apply for a private plan change and that will involve extensive public consultation,” says the chairman of ECan’s coastal portfolio Professor Bob Kirk.

Earlier this year ECan made a preliminary identification of areas it believed should be excluded from aquaculture activities. Interested parties were invited to discuss these plans with the regional council and meetings have been held with a range of submitters.

“In identifying the areas to be excluded from aquaculture activities we had to take a range of issues into account, such as cultural and natural values including marine reserves, special habitats and mataitai and taiapure. Water quality issues, danger areas and areas with other commercial interests – like port operational areas and council wastewater outfalls have also been taken into account,” says Professor Kirk.

Included in the 23 “excluded areas” are various areas deemed to be of natural significance, such as some river mouths, lagoons and estuaries. The biggest part of Lyttelton Harbour and the Port of Timaru as well as outfall areas have also been excluded from marine farming operations (see complete list of Excluded Areas).

Professor Kirk says identifying the areas to be excluded from aquaculture activity makes it clear to potential marine farm applicants what the status of the Canterbury coastline is with regards to such commercial operations.

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Following are the full list of Excluded Areas (north to south):

1. Whale, dolphin & Hutton’s shearwater area (significant natural value)
2. Conway River mouth lagoons (significant natural value)
3. Waiau River mouth/Shag Rock (northern) coastline (significant natural value)
4. Napenape (significant natural value)
5. Motunau Island and Motunau cliffs and river mouth (significant natural value)
6. Ashley River/Rakahuri-Saltwater Creek estuary (significant natural value)
7. The area of the mixing zone of the Waimakariri wastewater outfall and the area of the mixing zone of the Christchurch wastewater outfall.
8. Waimakariri River mouth and Brooklands Lagoon (significant natural value)
9. Estuary of the Heathcote and Avon Rivers/Ihutai (significant natural value)
10. Scarborough cliffs and Godley Head (significant natural value)
11 & 12. All of the area of Lyttelton Harbour (with the exception of the Rapaki Mataitai area) up to a line from Godley to Adderley Head.
13. All of the bays in Banks Peninsula named in the Regional Coastal Environment Plan are to be maintained in their present natural states, free of additional structures. Also included is the marine reserve at Flea Bay/Pohatu.
14. The part of the NZ Defence Force weapons range / danger area where it extends within the Coastal Marine Area.
15. Kaitorete (significant natural value)
16. Coopers Lagoon/Muriwai coastline (significant natural value)
17. Rakaia River mouth (significant natural value)
18. Ashburton River/Hakatere mouth (significant natural value)
19. Orari River mouth and lagoons and Opihi River mouth and lagoons (significant natural value)
20. Washdyke (Waitarakao) coastline and Patiti Point to Tuhawaiki Point (significant natural value)
21. The navigation channel and operational area for the Port of Timaru and the mixing zone for the Timaru outfall and the Pareora outfall.
22. Wainono to Waihao River mouth (significant natural value)
23. Waitaki River mouth (significant natural value)


ENDS

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