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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Aquaculture reforms on the way  (อ่าน 2274 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: กรกฎาคม 23, 2010, 09:11:11 AM »


Salmon smolt being loaded into an aquaculture tank. The government will be rehauling the sector. (Photo: Niwascience-Nelson Boustead)

Aquaculture reforms on the way

NEW ZEALAND
Friday, July 23, 2010, 00:30 (GMT + 9)

The federal government announced on Thursday additional steps in its plan to apply key changes to aquaculture.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley said Cabinet will further recommendations to boost the sector’s potential to produce sustainable economic growth.

“This is another significant step on the path towards much-needed reform,” said Heatley. “In the past the industry has been stifled by inflexible rules that discouraged investment in the sector and we’re working hard to enable growth in aquaculture within a framework of sustainable coastal management.

“We’re on track to put in place the regulations necessary to support the aquaculture industry to reach its goal of NZD 1 billion (USD 716.6 million) in annual sales by 2025,” he declared.

This target represents a three-fold increase on the existing sales level. It entails, according to Heatley, enabling sustainable use of the country’s valuable natural resources to bolster the economy and create more jobs, especially in the regions.

Cabinet’s latest proposals expand on the various measures announced last April.

Heatley informed that the goal is to guarantee minimal disruption to the existing industry and allow for the processing of outstanding aquaculture applications to be finalised and new applications to be made.

More than 60 applications regarding an area exceeding 8,000 ha are now awaiting a decision.

“We want these applications to progress. This reform will effectively free up the bottleneck that has kept industry growth in limbo for many years,” he stated.

Cabinet also proposes modifying the two regional coastal plans it sees as presenting substantial obstacles to aquaculture growth – Tasman and Waikato - via an Aquaculture Reform Bill.

Under the proposals, some 2,500 ha of suspended aquaculture applications in Environment Waikato’s area of responsibility in the western Firth will be re-activated. EW has itself recently been working on changes to aquaculture rules to allow more development within the Wilsons Bay Marine Farming Zone.

The changes would permit applications for finfish farming in those regions if they meet environmental standards. Further, small extensions to existing farms in Waikato would be allowed.

Making modifications to coastal plans in other regions has also been suggested, for which the Aquaculture Unit within the Ministry of Fisheries will collaborate with councils to enhance sustainable aquaculture development opportunities within their regions.

It will primarily be decisions made at a regional level that determine the nature and pace of growth, Heatley assured, as local people can best inform local rules.

“Hence, funding for the first five years of the new regime will be set aside to support regional councils with the implementation of these reforms. This is in addition to the money that has been reprioritised to fund the aquaculture business unit which will be made up of between six and eight aquaculture specialists,” he added.

The government expects to introduce the Aquaculture Reform Bill this year with enactment early next year.

Related articles:

- Minister supports fisheries self-rule proposal
- Minister may override plans in aquaculture's favour

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

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