February 8, 2010


New Zealand to introduce aquaculture bill by mid-year



The New Zealand government is on track to introduce new aquaculture legislation by mid 2010.


The complexity, cost and uncertainty of the current regime, together with poor incentives for development, have been impeding aquaculture growth, said Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley.


He stated his confidence in New Zealand getting a regime that will enable the aquaculture sector to achieve its goal of becoming a NZ$1 billion (US$692 million) contributor to the country's economy.


The government set up an advisory group on aquaculture last year, and a report was submitted in November, with submissions on it closed on December 16.


Heatley said 223 submissions were received, 80 of which were from the recreational sector. Other stakeholders were the aquaculture industry, environmental interests, customary fishers, commercial interests and local government.


Heatley said the main issues raised included the role of government in allowing for marine farming, the aquaculture levy proposed by the advisory group and resource consent renewals.

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