Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Scene Set For Marine Farming Gold Rush

November 15, 2001 - Auckland

Kaipara Decision Sets Scene For Marine Farming Gold Rush

Contact: Sarah Gibbs, Northern Field Officer, Tel. (09) 303-3079.

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society is dismayed with the decision by Auckland Regional Council to allow a 30 hectare mussel farm off South Kaipara Head.

The decision, made by ARC councillors Patricia Thorp, Philip Sherry and Brian Smith, went against recommendations made by ARC staff. The officers' report recommended the application be declined due to the impacts it would have on the natural character of the area and the precedent it would set in terms of other marine farm applications for the area.

"The Kaipara is an outstanding habitat for birdlife and supports around 20,000 migratory wading birds. Too little is known about marine farming's impacts on their habitat for such a large farm to have been approved in such a sensitive and important location," Forest and Bird's Northern Field Officer, Sarah Gibbs said.

"A grid of large plastic buoys in this otherwise unmodified marine area will compromise the wild unspoiled character and recreational values of the coast."

Forest and Bird is concerned that the decision does not recognise the current gold rush for marine space for marine farming nor the need for a precautionary approach.

"There have been applications for in excess of 5,000 hectares within the Firth of Thames in the last 12 months. The decision to allow for a mussel farm within the Kaipara Harbour could lead to this level of applications in the Kaipara as well," Ms Gibbs said.

"The current rapid and poorly planned expansion of marine farming is unsustainable and based on speculation, not science. The only research on environmental effects has been carried out on very small farms, only a few hectares in size. We simply don't know what the long term effects of large farms and a rapid expansion of aquaculture are going to be," said Ms Gibbs.

Forest and Bird is calling for a moratorium on all new marine farming resource consent applications to allow appropriate provisions within Regional Coastal Plans to be developed.

"The current aquaculture situation is nothing more than a bun fight between speculators. Granting the Kaipara marine farm application has done nothing towards either acknowledging or dealing with this issue," says Ms Gibbs.

ENDS

Background Notes

1. Some recent applications are for large areas (eg, to farm and catch greenshell mussel spat over 4750 ha off Opotiki and over 4000 ha off Maketu in the Bay of Plenty). There is a lack of research into the effects of establishing farms of this size and so far offshore. For example, the major research into phytoplankton (nutrient) depletion has been carried out in Beatrix Bay in Marlborough's Pelorus Sound, where the average farm size is 3 ha. The information gained from this research can not be extrapolated to large farms with any confidence. There is also limited information available on how large farms will affect current and sediment flows.

Large offshore marine farms (some covering more than 4000 ha) are also proposed off the Bay of Plenty coast between Opotoki and Whakatane, in the outer Marlborough Sounds, and in Golden Bay and Tasman Bay.

Other areas around New Zealand with high landscape and ecological values where marine farming is proposed include various sites around Great Barrier Island, the Great Mercury Islands, Akaroa Harbour and around Banks Peninsula, and in Jackson Bay on the South Island's West Coast.

2. Aquaculture can be developed in an orderly way by identifying suitable areas for aquaculture, and zoning these in regional coastal plans. Aquaculture should be prohibited outside these zones.

Councils have generally failed to use such an approach in the current crop of regional plans. The exceptions are Environment Waikato which is using it in a limited way, and in Tasman and Golden Bay, where the Environment Court has directed the use of such a zoning approach in the Tasman regional coastal plan.

3. A moratorium is needed to give regional councils and unitary authorities time to consult the public to determine whether aquaculture is appropriate in their region, and if so, where aquaculture zones are best sited to reduce marine farming's impacts on wildlife, environmental, and landscape values, and recreational users such as boaties and sea kayakers.

A review of aquaculture legislation is currently underway. It has significant implications for coastal management in New Zealand, but risks being pre-empted and undermined by the plethora of new farming applications and operations.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news