Blenheim Sun, Blenheim by Bill Mcelhinney 16 Feb 2018
By Bill McElhinney Three Marlborough Sounds salmon farms operated by New Zealand King Salmon can be relocated to help improve the environment.
An independent advisory panel, which included Blenheim-based commissioner Ron Crosby, has released a report which recommends relocating three of the farms.
The panel considered submissions and public hearings on a proposal to relocate up to six King Salmon farms to more sustainable sites.
It said relocating the three farms would allow the company to improve the environment by reducing the effects on the seabed, and improving fish health without sacrificing jobs or profits.
The farms are currently in Otanerau Bay, Waihinau Bay, and Ruakaka Bay.
The panel did not recommend relocating the other three farms because of navigational safety concerns and cultural factors.
If the three new farms go ahead, consents for farms at Waihinau, Otanerau and Ruakaka Bay will be surrendered.
Company chief executive Grant Rosewarne says he is delighted that the report supports the growing recognition that aquaculture plays a key role in sustainably feeding the planet.
“We hope to work with Government, council and the community to progress this proposal,” Grant says.
Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says he will consider the panel’s report and further advice from the Ministry for Primary Industries, but a decision on the relocation proposal is not likely to be made until the second half of the year.