Letter: Salmon farmers respond . . .
Far from "stuffing" the Marlborough Sounds with salmon farms (Letters, May 3), our total coverage - if our application is granted - would represent 0.01 per cent of the surface area, a mere 17 hectares compared to the 150,000 surface hectares there.
We've had to apply for additional space in "prohibited areas" because there is no suitable space in coastal marine zone 2, which is suitable for mussels and has primarily been set aside for them.
New Zealand retains ownership of all salmon farming space; we have the right only to carry out an activity and the public has access to all areas except for our barges and nets. The local council has approved all our farms, which are independently monitored by the Cawthron Institute on behalf of that council. We stand by our record of sustainable salmon farming for 25 years in the Sounds with no environmental effect detected remote from our farms.
It's now up to the independent board of inquiry established by the Environmental Protection Authority to consider our proposal. We believe that is the appropriate forum and are confident its decisions will be based on fact, not innuendo.
Chief executive, NZ King Salmon
The Dominion Post