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Guardians call for fish farm ban in Queen Charlotte Sound

Guardians call for fish farm ban

By Anna Sutherland

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Environmental group ‘Guardians of the Sounds’ unveiled a massive banner this week to alert Wellingtonians to plans by King Salmon to turn the Marlborough Sounds into 'one big fish farm'.

Chairman of Guardians of the Sounds, Peter Beech, said the group wanted to make people aware that King Salmon have proposed a ‘private plan change’ to the Marlborough District Council's district plan. King Salmon have proposed to build eight new salmon farms in the sounds, and need a change to the district plan to allow this.

"The change would enable King Salmon and the aquaculture industry to privatise and industrialise the Marlborough Sounds. It will turn the Sounds into one big fish farm."

He said the group put up the billboard up to encourage Wellingtonians to make a submission to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA are making the decision on whether King Salmon can go ahead with the new farms.

Mr Beech said the issue should resonate with Wellington people. “A lot of Wellington people own property in the Marlborough Sounds, and it is an important recreational play ground for people,” he said.

“The Marlborough Sounds are the only recreational marine area south of the Hauraki Gulf. They are a taonga for all New Zealanders, and in fact they are an international treasure.

“King Salmon want to privatise the public space. This is a multinational corporation that is taking over public common.”

Mr Beech said the Guardians of the Sounds are also extremely concerned about pollution from salmon farms. “The amount of waste from the eight proposed farms is equivalent to the amount of sewerage from 500,000 people. If the new farms go ahead, the Marlborough Sounds will not only be a big fish farm, they will be a big toilet bowl.”

He said the group are concerned about the effects that high nitrogen levels caused by the farms will have in the sounds, and that there is the possibility of algal bloom as a result.

The billboard says: “Here today... Gone tomorrow. You have until May 2 to stop privatisation and industrialisation of the Marlborough Sounds. Act now: download a submission form from

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