Golden Bay tourist attraction Anatoki Salmon, which was severely damaged by a landslide in June, is set to re-open in September thanks to the generosity of a nearby salmon farm.
Yesterday, 15,000 one-year-old salmon were released into a holding pond at the McCallum Rd property, which is located beside the Anatoki River. The fish were supplied by New Zealand King Salmon, located 20 minutes away.
"From our point of view we don't usually sell any fish, because we have our own breeding programme. But Anatoki are not in competition with us and also, given the circumstances, the right thing to do was help," said NZ King Salmon Golden Bay manager Jon Bailey.
"We had more salmon this year, in anticipation of our new farm in the Marlborough Sounds. It's really great to put them to good use; it's a win-win, really," he said.
Anatoki Salmon Farm owners Gerda and Jan Dissel say they were grateful to NZ King Salmon for supplying them with their "special species of salmon".
"We are now sure we can go on. It's really special they allow us to have their salmon. We feel actually quite honoured," said Ms Dissel.
"We're going to spoil them [the fish] with a lot of food and love and make them happy," said Mr Dissel.
After weeks of heavy machinery work and a huge community cleanup, the couple say they're looking forward to "offering some surprises" to visitors on opening day, September 14.
They say they learned a lot from the disaster and have taken steps to future-proof their farm in anticipation of the next flood.
- © Fairfax NZ News