September 30, 2011
New Zealand's aquaculture to expand by 2025
New Zealand's aquaculture legislation reform creates platform for aquaculture to become a billion-dollar industry by 2025, according to the minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
"Aquaculture requires only a small fraction of our coastal space, but it has the potential to be a huge boost to our economy," says Heatley.
"This legislation returns us to a consents based regime that levels the playing field for aquaculture development. At the same time, the new legislation puts safeguards in place to better manage coastal space and ensure development can only occur within environmental limits," Heatley says.
While primary responsibility for aquaculture planning and consenting remains with local authorities, the legislation also allows central government to take a more active role in supporting sustainable aquaculture.
The government's principal advisor on aquaculture issues, the MAF Aquaculture Unit will continue to serve as an important resource for local authorities, people, environmental interests, the aquaculture industry, and other stakeholders.
"The legislation also ensures that the Crown will be able to deliver on the Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement. Under the legislation, the Crown will enter into regional agreements with people to deliver the settlement," Heatley says.
In regions where it is anticipated interest in aquaculture development will be high, the government may hold space through a gazette notice process to create future settlement options.
"This is critical if the crown is to negotiate full and meaningful agreements with people" stated Heatley.
Space has already been gazetted in Northland, Waikato (East), and Marlborough where interest in aquaculture development is expected to be greatest in the immediate future.
"When this government came into office we signalled that we would create a framework that fosters environmentally sustainable aquaculture development while balancing that development with the environment and other coastal uses. This new legislative regime achieves that and will help position us well to meet the growing worldwide demand for high quality aquaculture products," Heatley says.