Kingfish Framing in the Hauraki Gulf
Friday, September 28, 2018 at 2:27PM
Bill Barclay

For the benefit of readers who are new to this debate - here is the Executive Summary of the repot - Overview of Marive Biosecurity Risks From Fin-fish Aquaculture Development in the Waikato Region prepared by the Cawthorn Institute in 2011 for the Waikato Reional Council.

The warnings summarised in the Executive Summary  are instructive, and must have been at the forefront of all the deliberations that have taken place since. Note the mention of a range of disease and pathogen transfer risks and pathways, including between farmed fish, thousands to a cage, and native stock. 

And it doesn't even deal directly with such known problems as pollution of the environment from antifouling and other chemicals, widespread use of antibiotics, escapes, fouling of the seabed from fish waste and food waste, hazards to navigation, unsustainable impacts of feed regimen on worldwide small species stocks.

Of course, we know that regardless of adverse regional public opinion, the job of our regional council, first and foremost, is to implement Government policy come hell or high water.  Costs of implementation and administration, as usual, are to be shouldered by the region's ratepayers. Don't be blinded by the wildly optimistic estimation of revenue and jobs - they are simply 'pie in the sky' at this stage. .

Dal Minogues reported entusiam for the devlopment is as troubling as it is surprising. I had no idea that he was a 'booster' for this particular venture. Perhaps there are votes in it - we shall see!

In the light of all this, the decision of the Hauraki Iwi to venture forth into this bright new world is certainly brave. Whether it is wise will be revealed in due course.

Experience from around the world with aquaculture generally would suggest that those behind the venture should obtain the best possible advice - not necessarily available in this country where fish farming has been restricted to salmon - and the relative experience in that quarter somewhat questionable.

What is clear is that the Iwi would be very unwise to be relying on the level of experience and expertise from within Waikato Regional Council.  TCDC certainly has none, and none is likely.




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