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Marine Farming In Jeopardy

3rd June 2004

Marine Farming In Jeopardy

New Zealand First has called for an immediate end to the marine farming moratorium because Government dithering is threatening the future of aquaculture.

Local Government and Environment spokesperson Jim Peters said that the Fisheries Minister’s stated intention to extend the moratorium past 31 December 2004 was creating uncertainty and concern among marine farmers.

“Even more alarming is the present viewpoint that consent rights should be abolished.

“Consents legally and properly granted must be allowed to run their full term in accordance with consent conditions.

“The Government needs to acknowledge that the moratorium on applications for marine farming was not needed for the whole country and that some regional councils could proceed to consent tomorrow.

“Many councils have already mapped out the areas that could be suitable for Aquaculture Marine Area status and these could easily be clarified by legislation, to which the public would have the opportunity to submit.

“Another disturbing feature of current ministerial thinking must be the leaked comments about a Maori quota, and negotiations with the Maori Fisheries Commission.

“Neither quota nor commission interference is needed, and is demeaning to present Maori marine farmers and to prospective hapu ventures, hampered by the moratorium.

“”Marine farmers need certainty and clarity, not dithering and tinkering which threatens to jeopardise the future of this valuable export industry,” said Mr Peters.


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