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Aquaculture Council Sets The Facts Straight

6th October 2004

Aquaculture Council Sets The Facts Straight

The NZ Aquaculture Council wants to reassure the public that the aquaculture industry is not out to privatise the oceans for themselves. Aquaculture Council chair, Callum McCallum, says that "security of tenure for marine farmers is a fundamental issue for all our members".

"We entirely accept that a marine farm space will be approved under the Resource Management Act process and a marine farmer can only apply for a renewal where local authority planning allows continuation of that particular water-space for that use," he says.

"Where the local authority has decided the farming activity is still consistent with the provisions of the relevant coastal plan, we simply ask that any existing farmers there are given first option to apply to renewing their resource consents. This is simply about how the space is allocated to the industry after the relevant Council has decided it is appropriate for aquaculture.

"Our key message is that the Bill proposes to radically amend the RMA so that marine farming areas would be an activity treated like no other in the Coastal Marine area," Mr McCallum says. "This will make the marine farm consent process Anti-Aquaculture.

"No other NZ activity relies on long, expensive and uncertain changes to regional plans BEFORE the standard consent process has even begun. Surely, it is by now accepted that the RMA should treat all activities under the same rules and that if anything, red-tape should be cut out, rather than added into the RMA?"

The New Zealand Aquaculture Council represents four industry stakeholder groups: the Oyster Industry Association, the New Zealand Mussel Industry Council, the New Zealand Salmon Farmers Association and the New Zealand Abalone Farmers Association. Combined these organisations would represent over 90% of marine farmers in the Coastal Marine area.

ENDS

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