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Should salmon farming be intensified in Marlborough Sounds?

Should salmon farming be intensified in the Marlborough Sounds?

This was the question a group of devoted and concerned Marlborough residents put forward to Wellington people last weekend on a trip to the city to promote their new petition; www.sharamor.co.nz. The petition was set up by 17-year-old Leona Plaisier who lives with her family on the Tui Nature Reserve wildlife park in the Outer Pelorus of the Marlborough Sounds, and would be faced with four to five extra salmon farms directly across from them. One of which is positioned opposite the largest breeding site for rare and endangered King Shag.

“I want the Sounds to remain as beautiful as it is today, so that my four-year-old sister can grow up and enjoy it the way I did. Those who are making the decisions should be aware the outcome will effect many more generations then just those who are alive today. There is no way King Salmon can assure me there won’t be a massively negative effect to the environment. They have yet to prove they can handle a disease out-break or serious risk to wildlife and I would prefer they don’t use these Sounds or any other place like it to experiment on. It’s my home too.” Leona Plaisier

The group of four flew to Wellington with a private plane piloted by Port Gore resident, Cliff Marchant, who is also concerned about what these salmon farms would mean to the Sounds and what it endangers.

On landing in Wellington, the group was joined by others who supported the petition.

The focus was on the ‘Wellington on a plate’ event, where Master chef 2011 winner, Nadia Lim, was going to promote the sustainability and clean environment of which King, or Chinook, salmon are farmed from. This has been a contraversial claim since the announcement of the application late last year.

With the intension to raise awareness of the issues surrounding salmon farming, the group handed out cards to Wellington pedestrians directing them to the online petition. Also photos of the seabed at present were made available and video footage taken recently of the state underneath the salmon farms in the Sounds today was playing for people to see. About 600 cards were given to people in the day the team were in Wellington. Going through Civic square, Cuba street and in front of the Michael Fowler building where the cooking classes were taking place.

Nadia Lim was asked questions by ticket-holders regarding the salmon and especially what they are fed. To some of which she could not answer to. It was raised that if the salmon feed were to contain animal-based products and off-cuts, how would the end product still be deemed a vegetarian option?

Nadia Lim did not come out to talk to the group, despite being invited to do so.

The petition has since collected over 500 signatures since the 9th of August and has appeared on the Green party website, Forest and Bird and Greenpeace facebook pages, and featured in the Marlborough Express. The group are still busy with getting it more widely promoted and hope it will be ready to present to the Environmental Protection Authourity by the end of the hearing, possibly late October to early November.

To sign the petition, go to www.sharamor.co.nz. Once you have signed, please spread the word and post it on your Facebook page or Tweet it; the more signatures the better.


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