Fish farms added 'risk'
Tory Channel was a dangerous place and putting more salmon farms there would add to the danger, Marlborough harbourmaster Alex van Wijngaarden said yesterday.
He accepted that there were headlands and submerged rocks closer to the Cook Strait ferry routes than two of the proposed farms King Salmon has applied to set up in Tory Channel would. However, he said their addition would add extra danger to the route, which he did not think should be done because of the risk to recreational boaties.
In fine weather, moving between marine farms and the shoreline to avoid ferries wasn't a problem. But when the weather was not fine, the capability of the person in charge of the vessel was an unknown quantity, he said.
"We have to provide for a variety of skills, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and I can assure you, we see them all."
Under cross-examination, Mr van Wijngaarden was asked why the locations of many marine farms were not marked on charts of the Marlborough Sounds.
He said information on new marine farms was sent to Maritime New Zealand, who sent the information on to Land Information NZ, who produced the charts. It was not in his power to make them mark the charts, and in some cases it was possible that doing so would overlay other hazards on the chart and cause clutter. "There is a warning on the top of the chart and title to warn people that not all farms are charted and they need to take due caution."
He said salmon farms in Tory Channel had been marked on charts, and if King Salmon's application was approved, he would ask for the new farms to be marked on charts as well.
- The Marlborough Express