Lawyer explains DOC's opposition to fish farms

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 14:19 13/09/2012

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The Conservation Minister's opposition to two marine farms NZ King Salmon wants to build at Ruaomoko and Kaitapeha is based on the ecological and landscape values of reserve land near those sites, Conservation Department lawyer Eleanor Jamieson said yesterday.

Ms Jamieson told the Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry hearing in Blenheim that the minister partly opposed King Salmon's application for a plan change and resource consents that would enable it to build nine new salmon farms, eight in a zone where the Marlborough District Council prohibits marine farming. Proposed farms at Ruaomoko and Kaitapeha are opposed, and the minister wants the proposed farm at Port Gore reduced.

Ms Jamieson said the opposition was not "philosophical" as King Salmon had submitted.

"That proposition is rejected completely."

Rather, DOC's concerns were with landscape, amenity and natural character values of parts of the Marlborough Sounds, both land and water.

"It is important to be clear at this point that the minister's submission is not based on any opposition to the activity of salmon farming in the Sounds per se.

"As detailed in evidence led on behalf of the minister, from her department's perspective the relationship with NZ King Salmon over the years has been professional and constructive."

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- The Marlborough Express

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