November 25, 2009


New Zealand aquaculture faces adverse effects on new expansion



Following the announcement of the technical advisory report earlier this month, New Zealand's recreation and commercial fishermen are becoming concerned about the possible loss of water space, if plans to expand the marine industry take off.


Among the proposals in the aquaculture technical advisory group report released by Fisheries Minister, Phil Heatley earlier this month are the creation of an aquaculture agency within the Ministry of Fisheries, the appointment of a minister of aquaculture, lifting the ban on industry development outside aquaculture management areas and redesign of the undue adverse effects test on fishing.


The aquaculture industry, which seeks to be a billion-dollar industry by 2025, has supported many of the recommendations, saying development has stagnated because of the regulatory environment.


According to reports, Motueka-based Federation of Commercial Fishermen president Doug Saunders-Loder says that any change to the undue adverse effects test would be of concern as at present it allowed commercial interests to protect their fishing rights.


Saunders-Loder said the advancement of the aquaculture industry was positive, provided it did not impact on other users of marine space and resources.


Environmental Defence Society coastal policy researcher Raewyn Peart questioned the credibility of the proposed changes. Some recommendations were such as a per-hectare levy on marine farms to help cover costs and avoid a gold-rush for free space.

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