Aquaculture New Zealand welcomes Supreme Court decision
Aquaculture New Zealand has welcomed the Supreme Court decision clearing the way for three new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds.
“It has been a long, expensive and uncertain process to get to this point,” said Aquaculture New Zealand Chairman Bruce Hearn.
“Hopefully we are now at a point where New Zealand King Salmon can proceed with their growth plans and get on with what they do best — sustainably producing the world’s best salmon.
“Salmon farming currently generates AUD 150 million (USD 140 million, EUR 101.3 million) in annual revenue from a handful of carefully chosen sites around the country.
“These additional sites will utilize a fraction of the Marlborough Sounds’ water surface, under carefully controlled conditions, and generate substantial economic benefits and employment.”
In addition to the economic benefits, the application process has proved that New Zealand King Salmon can operate in balance with the environment and fellow water users, Hearn said.
“We understand that the Marlborough Sounds are near and dear to the hearts of the community who work, fish, boat, dive and holiday on the water — and we agree whole heartedly that there needs to be appropriate levels of protection to ensure these activities can continue,” Hearn said.
“This thorough and transparent process, that began with the EPA Board of Inquiry, has examined all the concerns of environmental advocates including impacts on the seabed, water column, nutrient release, seabirds and sea mammals as well as considering the natural landscape of areas and navigation.
“The inquiry drew on independent scientific evidence and relevant experts and found New Zealand King Salmon can farm these new sites in balance with the local environment and community.
“The weight of scientific evidence shows that salmon farming in the right sites is sustainable and social research shows the majority of New Zealanders support growth in the industry.”
At the heart of it all, is nutritious and delicious premium salmon in demand here in New Zealand and high-end international markets, Hearn said.
“Aquaculture is good for Marlborough. The aquaculture industry and New Zealand King Salmon will continue to work hard to ensure it is an asset the community can be proud of.”