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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Govt approves establishment of mussel farm  (อ่าน 1871 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: กรกฎาคม 03, 2010, 08:58:51 PM »


Wakatu will only be able to install just two trial lines of the 350 proposed. (Photo: Wakatu Incorporation)

Govt approves establishment of mussel farm

NEW ZEALAND
Friday, July 02, 2010, 23:20 (GMT + 9)


The Ministry of Fisheries said on Thursday it approved a controversial application from Wakatu Incorporation to farm green-lipped mussels in a whopping 770 ha of Tasman Bay. The proposed farm’s location occurs in a commercial flatfish fishery.

“We decided that the proposed marine farm would not unduly affect fishing or the sustainability of fisheries resources in the area,” said John Beaglehole, manager, Office of the Chief Executive.

Commercial fishers and environmentalists disagree, however, and have been opposing the company’s plan since its first application in 2003, The Nelson Mail reports.

Wakatu had previously applied for a marine farming permit at this site in 2003, and the Ministry rejected it in April 2007 because of concerns regarding aquaculture’s effects on commercial fishing.

Back then, the Ministry said, they lacked sufficient quantitative data to help them assess how the proposed farm would impact commercial catch.

“Since then, new information has become available showing that the impacts on commercial fishing would be considerably less than previously anticipated,” Beaglehole explained.

But Wakatu Chief Executive Keith Palmer said the approval comes at an unprofitable time for the mussel industry, and the company might hold off. The permit will last 15 years.

"We have to do trials, we have to determine what sort of structures to put in, we have to work out what the growth rates and the yields will be so we can adjust all our other systems," he told.

The firm’s latest application faced opposition by the Challenger Finfish Management Company, the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen, the Port Nelson Fishermen's Association, the Challenger Scallop Management Company, Friends of Nelson Haven and Tasman Bay and the Challenger Oyster Management Company.

"We don't know the downside effects once it's fully operational with all the lines and all the mussels," said Port Nelson Fishermen's Association president Carol Scott.

Wakatu’s application was made under the old aquaculture law, known as the Fisheries Act 1983, because it was notified by the regional council before the moratorium on aquaculture development became effective in November 2001.

“This means the applicant had to obtain both a resource consent from the local council and a marine farming permit from the Ministry of Fisheries,” Beaglehole said.

Wakatu’s proposed farm can now be developed in four stages per an Adaptive Management Programme approved by the Marlborough District Council. Environmental monitoring will be carried out during each separate stage.

Development can only proceed if the Council determines the farm is not negatively impacting the environment in a major way. Until consent is given, just two trial lines of the 350 proposed can be laid.

Related article:

- Seafood firms unite to secure mussel stocks

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com

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