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King Salmon requests mussel farm consent
2017-04-10 10:26:46 copyfrom： hits:
Mussel farm. (Photo: Stock File)
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 02:10 (GMT + 9)
New Zealand King Salmon intends to increase its capacity to farm mussels while it is in the hub of a controversial government proposal to relocate up to six salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds.
The firm, which has consents for 11 salmon farms and two mussel farms, at White Horse Rock and Crail Bay, has lodged a resource consent application for a 7.4-hectare greenshell mussel farm at Blowhole Point in the outer Pelorus Sound, The Marlborough Express reported.
King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne said mussels were a peripheral part of the company's operations, but the farm was a good opportunity for King Salmon.
Sources from the firm explained that the mussels would be harvested using traditional long-line methods, and consent for a 20-year period was sought by King Salmon.
The company might also get two salmon farms relocated to the same Blow Hole Point area, depending on the outcome of an MPI process, which would see up to six low-flow sites swapped for high-flow sites in Pelorus Sound and Tory Channel. The existing low-flow sites were either failing to meet best-practice standards, or would fail to meet them in the future.
If the proposal went ahead, the Ministry for Primary Industries would recommend regulations allowing the council's environmental plan to be bypassed, something that has caused a stir among iwi and community and conservation groups.
Guardians of the Sounds chairman Paul Keating said his organisation had been more involved in writing submissions for the salmon farms, rather than thinking about the mussel farm application, but the farm would be centred in an area of high natural value.
Keating said it was important money was not the only driver for having aquaculture, and he wanted to see real-time monitoring of different sites in the Marlborough Sounds to evaluate the impact of marine farming.
King Salmon estimated its mussel harvesting boats would operate in the area for 18 or 20 days of the year.
The resource consent application said the mussel farm would be in a part of Pelorus Sound, where aquaculture had been present for a long time, and it did not impinge significantly on other values in the area.
Meanwhile, Kenepuru and Central Sounds Residents Association vice-president Andrew Caddie said the association did not see the need for the company to have another mussel farm, in the space where two salmon farms were proposed, considering the amount of new space available for aquaculture in the Top of the South.
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