2001ha of new space will now be available for aquaculture in Tasman following a decision from MPI which considered the latest information about the fishery.
In 2008, the then Ministry of Fisheries made a decision to approve 850 ha of the proposed Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs) for the development of aquaculture in Tasman. The decision was challenged by industry in the High Court and Court of Appeal, and a judgment in 2013 directed MPI to reconsider some aspects of its decision.
Specifically, MPI was directed to re-examine the potential effects of the AMAs on the local scallop fishery.
“Following the judgement in 2013, we ran an extended consultation with those affected by the original decision to ensure we had a good understanding of everyone’s point of view. We also took the opportunity to review the latest science about the fishery,” says MPI’s deputy director general Scott Gallacher.
“This decision reflects marked changes to both the scallop populations and the commercial scallop fishing industry since 2008. It will effectively open up about 2000ha of new space for aquaculture in Tasman Region.”
Any applications for marine farms within the new area will be made to the Tasman District Council. As a next step the council will work with iwi and marine farmers to identify and allocate 20% of the space as part of the settlement of Maori claims to commercial aquaculture.