Hydro dam salmon farm project sinks

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Ambitious project to grow 500 tonnes of King salmon a year at dam at New Zealand’s South Island’s West Coast is now over.

Former deep-sea fisherman and Westfleet – an established fishing company – director, Craig Boote started the idea of a salmon farm near the hydro dam on the Arnold River fed by Lake Brunner, three years ago.

Boote had little knowledge about farming salmon so had engaged NZ marine consulting business Aquaculture Direct to do some early feasibility and to scout for locations. They found the hydro dam, and it was believed that the large volume of water through it would have created the oxygen levels salmon need. Furthermore, Boote had an existing factory near by that was capable of processing salmon.

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However, RNZ now reports that the project is over before it began.

Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the proposal and trials had looked promising but the science didn’t add up. “The Arnold River that comes out of Lake Brunner…the water temperature was just too warm to create the atmosphere for salmon,” he told the publication.

Howevever, Kokshoorn added that: “[Westfleet] haven’t given up and they are looking around for other sites but at the moment it’s a backward step.”