November 12, 2003



Marine Farmers in New Zealand Sought Foreign Markets

Marine farmers at the top of the South Island in New Zealand are frustrated by the aquaculture moratorium, law reforms and the fisheries permit process, are looking overseas for expansion plans.


Industry players had visited Europe, Australia and South America to investigate marine expansion possibilities that New Zealand was not able to offer, said Rob Pooley, New Zealand Marine Farming Association president.


"I am very much aware that several of my industry colleagues have been on sorties ... People are totally, utterly frustrated in their inability to progress and grow our own industry."


Brad Govan, general manager of Pacifica Seafoods in Christchurch, said delays in obtaining fisheries permits were holding up developments that escaped the two-year freeze.


Scott Williamson, of the Fisheries Ministry, said there were 206 applications for fisheries permits nationwide, and 179 applications from Marlborough.


Since November 2001, 19 applications totalling 39.9ha had been approved. Other applications, which include the 149 in the Marlborough Sounds, had been put on hold at the applicants' request because more information was needed, he said.


Mr Hodgson said he knew there had been frustration over the permit process but believed the "logjam" was about to break.


However, Mr Govan said countries like Chile were already starting to hurt New Zealand's industry in the United States and Europe.