Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Coastline up for grabs in aquaculture legislation in New Zealand

Our wilderness coastline is under attack from the government’s plans to speed up the development of marine farms, Forest & Bird said today. People concerned about protecting our marine environment and coastal views have only until Friday, February 11 to send a submission on the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) to Parliament’s primary production select committee.

The bill, introduced to Parliament in November, will loosen the rules for marine farming and encourage the industry’s development through government handouts, while limiting the opportunities for the public to comment on proposals in their area. “This will lead to another gold rush for coastal space. We will lose iconic coastal seascapes, clean coastal waters and many special seafloor communities,” said Forest & Bird North Island Conservation Manager Mark Bellingham.

“It will also have serious consequences for coastal boat owners and fishers, who will have to navigate their way around rafts of fish and mussel farms,” Dr Bellingham said. He added that Forest & Bird supports the development of aquaculture in suitable areas but the proposed legislation lacks necessary environmental protections. More marine farms would mean more buoys, longlines, shellfish frames and sea cages in coastal waters for raising mussels, oysters and finfish. On the seabed, the build up of waste food and fish faeces will create a black lifeless desert.

Increased nutrients from fish farms can lead to algal blooms, affecting all marine life in a much wider area. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Aquaculturists, published and supported by the International Aquafeed Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

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