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Friday
Aug112017

Fish Farming Imminent 

Even though caged fish farming as such remained the 'elephant in the room' at the presentation of the The Economic Contribution of Marine Farming in the TCD' on Tuesday, but referred to by no-one, it was clear that the participants had not attended simply to hear eulogies to the great God Mussel.

Clearly the proposals to open up the upper Coromandel to cage fishing are working their way through the labyrinth of regulatory controls, and tendering processes that have been set in place. In other words, there is but 'lip service' being paid to the pollution probability that has been drawn to the attention of the boosters (starting with John Tregidga) who have nailed their colours to the great God King-fish, in this case.  

And all this despite the presentation of a study to the WRC Environment Committee on 25 January this year, signed off by Hilke Giles (now working for WRC!), and Dominique Noiton that states therein

“Fish farming can have substantial effects on the environment and if poorly managed can have disastrous environmental consequences.”  It covers drugs, sediment, pests, escapees, reiterates that “fish acquaculture still consumes more animal protein than it produces”

And the costs of managing monogenean parasites are a major impediment to the expansion of kingfish farming in Oz.  but of course the report ends with this remarkable statement:

"WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT THE RMA CONSENT PROCESS WILL ALLOW COUNCIL TO MANAGE THE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS AND INTERVENE PROMPTLY AND EFFECTIVELY IN CASE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS BECOME UNACCEPTABLE"

That is the kind of contradictory drivel that has plagued the contributions to the various research documents and enquiries that have led inevitably towards the pre-determined Government position that 'dirty fish-farming in the Gulf' was not only necessary, but desirable. 

At least it now appears that Wilson's Bay and its immediate vicinity is too shallow "too shallow" for the development, and now it is the semi-enclosed ocean to the north of Coromandel where sea flows are at least greater than where it was originally proposed.

It appears that the interest shown to date lies with iwi, or an iwi/consortium involving one or more of the 'big' fishers. Iwi would be running a substantial risk if they were to tackle it alone, but the 'big' fishers really know little more in this situation. The apparent lack of overseas interest should stand as a warning as to what lies ahead.

More information is filtering through, but it remains elusive, and subjective.

 

 

 

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