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Aquaculture set for the backburner again

Phil Heatley
National Fisheries Spokesman

12 May 2004

Aquaculture set for the backburner again

The multimillion-dollar aquaculture industry looks set for the backburner again, says National's Fisheries spokesman Phil Heatley.

Today, Fisheries Minister, David Benson-Pope, said in Parliament that he 'hoped' he would not have to extend the aquaculture moratorium again.

Mr Heatley says there is no way the Government's foreshore and seabed legislation or the subsequent aquaculture reforms will be passed within the next seven months - in time for the expiry of the current moratorium.

"Labour's failure to allow this fledgling industry to get off the ground will cost the country millions of dollars in the long-term."

It is estimated the three-year moratorium will cost the industry about $216 million in lost revenue.

"When the moratorium was extended late last year many marine farmers were forced to look overseas for opportunities.

"Marine farmers are increasingly frustrated by the slow wheels of this Government. They don't want 'hope', they want certainty," says Mr Heatley.


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