Uncertainty about relocation of New Zealand salmon farms

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The relocation of six salmon farms owned by New Zealand King Salmon in the Marlborough Sounds faces uncertainty, due to changes in the government, reports New Zealand Stuff.

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries last year announced a proposal to move six salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds from low flow to higher flow sites in January 2018.

This proposal intends to facilitate industry growth through a more efficient use of existing marine farming space, rather than by creating additional new space.

Consultation
New Zealand King Salmon said the proposal would bring both environmental and economic benefits, but residents and environmental groups opposed the plan at hearings earlier this year, citing environmental concerns. As a result, the Ministry organized a consultation earlier this year, to hear the views of all involved.

Former minister Nathan Guy was to make a decision on the proposal after the election.

But the new Labour-led Government, led by Jacinda Ardern, this week announced plans to disband the Ministry for Primary Industries, which combined fisheries, forestry and agriculture in one sector, and replace it with three separate Ministries: Fisheries, Forestry, and Agriculture.

Previous commitments
New Zealand King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne said he expected the composition of the new  government should not affect the outcome of the proposal.

Rosewarne said Ardern had ‘honored’ most of the previous government’s commitments and he expected her to continue to do so in this case.

But Environmental Defence Society Chief Executive Gary Taylor said last week he expected the proposal to move the salmon farms would be dropped altogether.

“Labour, in its environmental policies, said it would repeal section 360A of the Resource Management Act, the section being used by King Salmon to override rules set by the local government,” Taylor said.