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Government To Investigate Northland Aquaculture Opportunities

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Nick Smith
Nick Smith

Wellington, March 26 NZPA - The Government is to look at finfish and oyster farming opportunities in Northland in a bid to grow New Zealand's aquaculture industry.

"The main objective is to determine the feasibility of potential Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs) for oyster and finfish farming and related aquaculture activities," Environment Nick Smith announced with Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley today.

Mr Smith said the project would allow 19 possible AMA sites identified by the Northland Regional Council to be evaluated for their potential as marine farms, as well as investigating whether other promising sites exist around its coast.

Mr Heatley said the aquaculture industry had a goal of becoming a $1 billion-a-year industry by 2025 and the Government wanted to help it achieve that.

Initially the Environment Ministry, which will lead the project, would talk to groups with an interest in aquaculture about their preferences, particularly in relation to the areas and types of farming they considered worthy of further investigation.

It would then carry out detailed assessments of the environmental effects of marine farming in the preferred locations and consult with those who might consider themselves potentially affected by any such development.

The project was expected to take around 18 months to complete.

There would be engagement with the council, industry, iwi and others with an interest in aquaculture , and the wider Northland community would be informed through progress reports and would also have opportunities to participate under the Resource Management Act.

NZPA PAR co nb

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