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WRC Gulf Aquaculture Plan Ignores Marlborough King Salmon Example

The recently advertised tender document for applicants to submit for 240 h in the Gulf ignores what is currently happening with King Salmon in the Marlborough Sounds. This experience replicates what has happened virtually everywhere around the World where large scale aquaculture has been allowed to develop.

The facts are obscured by claims that the increased World population has a great need for the product of these farms, and that production has increased exponentially. Neither of these facts justifies turning our pristine sea-beds into festering septics that will eventually cause the demise of all other marine life, and demand ever greater areas to maintain production.

The Inquiry that took place into the exploitation of the Gulf in this manner was under-resourced, biased and totally unable to grasp the nature of the effects the industry would have on our sea-bed. It was nothing more that a cipher set up to support the Governments commitment to aquaculture. Its recommendations were a joke. Unfortunately, certain people within the WRC whose very jobs appear to be dependent on the development of the industry have proceeded, regardless of the warnings about potential sea-bed degradation to push for the development.

Here is the content of the yesterday's Stuff article on the matter:

"If the proposal goes ahead, Minister Nathan Guy will recommend new regulations be created under s360A of the Resource Management Act enabling the farms to be relocated into areas where farming is currently prohibited.

King Salmon would still have to apply to the council to create the farms, but the usual resource management process, with public notifications and hearings, would not be followed.

Council environment committee chairman David Oddie declined to comment on how the salmon farm issues were being handled, as it was a Central Government matter.

A planning, finance and committee meeting would be held next week and Oddie believed the council would discuss its approach to the MPI proposal then.

When asked why the proposal was released this year, MPI director of economic development Luke Southorn said MPI, the council and community had developed best-practice guidelines for the salmon farms which they wanted to implement as soon as possible.

Three existing farms in low-flow areas were failing to meet best-practice standards, and three others were predicted to have issues meeting those standards in the future."

Local iwi interests are furious that the areas proposed for the new farms are exactly the areas that they were told were not available when they were negotiating their 20% allocation. They were instead offered monetary compensation that they did not want. A High Court appeal against the new allocation is likely as a result, but it does not alter the fact that King Salmon and DPI have been avoiding disclosing the damage that has been occurring under the farms until suddenly announcing the move to the new areas.

What we do know is that the damage caused by Kingfish residue (the most likely species to be farmed in the Gulf, along with the less likely Hapuka) will be certainly no less that the damage caused by Salmon residue, apart from the chemicals used to colour the salmon bright pink.     

It is really time for our councils and the DPI to take a reality check on this industry until far greater research has been completed. It is simply not good enough to assume that water flows in the Gulf will be sufficient to obviate the risk of sea-bed destruction. Tidal  flows are notorious for simply moving residues over a wider area - they don't remove the stuff - no way! 

And talk of electronic monitoring of feed supply to restrict residues from that source are simply that - talk! Shit is shit in anyone's language!




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