Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Fish farming plan change underway


3 December 2008

Fish farming plan change underway

After nearly two years of information gathering, Environment Waikato has decided to prepare an amendment to the Regional Coastal Plan that would allow new types of marine farming, including fish farming, within current aquaculture management areas.

Under the current marine farming chapter of the plan, written in 1999, shellfish farming is the only type of aquaculture allowed in the region.

Environment Waikato policy committee chair Paula Southgate said Environment Waikato had carefully considered the positive and negative impacts of fish farming over the past 18 months.

“We wanted to be sure we had plenty of robust scientific studies on the environmental impacts before contemplating a plan change.”

She said the proposal scored very well for economics, which was reflected by the enthusiasm of the industry, central government and development agencies.  However lessons from overseas had shown that poorly managed fish farms could cause significant environmental damage.

“Because fish farming is more intensive than shellfish farming and involves feeding and potentially the use of medicinal compounds, the ecological effects can be much greater than shellfish farming,” she said.

“A number of technical reports have been commissioned to explore these potential effects.

“We feel a carefully drafted plan change providing for development of a small amount of fish farming on a trial basis in the existing aquaculture marine areas should be sustainable.  From that we will learn whether expansion is possible and where it should occur.

“We will continue to take a precautionary approach given the known environmental risks.”

On the plus side, Cr Southgate said the council had been advised kingfish farming could provide returns of more than $400,000 per hectare – more than 10 times higher than shellfish. 

“It could be worth millions of dollars to the regional economy and create jobs in areas where other opportunities are limited.”

Initially fish farming would be piloted in about 1-3 per cent of the 1500 hectares of aquaculture management areas in the region. This would allow production of between 2000 and 5000 tonnes of fish. At this stage, Environment Waikato considers that expansion beyond this scale would require new marine farming areas in deeper waters.

Environment Waikato’s policy team will begin drafting the proposed plan change immediately and will be consulting extensively before presenting a draft to council around March next year.

The draft plan change will be adjusted in line with council recommendations, after which point it will be subject to further public consultation.

It is expected that a finalised plan change could be adopted by Council and notified for formal submissions around mid-2009.

More information is available at www.ew.govt.nz/aquaculture.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election