Take Trout Farming Off Agenda Says Trout Federation
Trout farming should not be a part of government’s plan to strengthen the allocation and transfer process in the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 says a trout and rivers advocacy the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA).
Trout farming that would directly and indirectly endanger the public’s trout fishing, must not be a parcel of proposals,” said Dr Peter Trolove NZFFA president. “Fish farming is capital intensive, high risk and marginally economic.”
He was responding to a statement by the Fisheries Minister
Stuart Nash that “some of the current requirements are preventing several iwi from accessing and developing their aquaculture settlement assets and the proposal outlines options to strengthen processes”.
Peter Trolove a veterinarian with qualifications in and experience of Scottish salmon farming, said too often fish farming was portrayed as a wonderful innovation with rich financial rewards.
“The reality is fish farming is seen by government as a bypass for ailing sea fisheries,” he said. “Instead the Minister and ministry should be focusing on the seriously flawed tradeable quota system around sea fish that has species seriously depleted by companies.”
He said trout farming which iwi have publicly contemplated, would endanger the public’s recreational fishery which had been estimated at well over a billion dollars per annum.
“Disease within fish farms, escaped fish undermining wild naturally evolved strains, incentives to poaching and black markets, use of precious public water with organic pollution in effluents are just some of the threats from fish farming and in particular trout farming, to the public’s fishery and that one billion dollar value,” said Peter Trolove.
Problems with King Salmon’s farming of salmon in the Marlborough Sounds underlined the uncertainty of aquaculture fish farming.
“I do have concerns about aquaculture's influence on the ministry and government. Ministers and the ministry seem mesmerised by the rhetoric. The reality is farming is basically feed lot farming, akin to keeping cattle penned in barns.”
In terms of wet fish the conversion is 3:1. World-wide there was insufficient fish to supply the aquaculture industry and the cheaper substitutes resulted in poorer quality product.
Peter Trolove said fish farmers readily quoted gross returns from fish farms ignoring the fact that 60-70percent was absorbed by imported feed costs. High fish deaths due to warm temperatures and disease in crowded pens made fish farming economically uncertain and fraught with risk.