Port Gore landowner opposes second site

New Zealand King Salmon already holds a consent to farm salmon in Port Gore where it has applied to develop a second site, Cliff Marchant told an Environmental Protection Authority hearing in Blenheim this week.

The Port Gore landowner is opposing an application by King Salmon to build nine new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds, especially one at Papatua in Port Gore where aquaculture is prohibited.

In August 2010, King Salmon was given consent to farm salmon at Melville Cove in Port Gore, Mr Marchant told the board of inquiry, which will decide whether King Salmon can build its proposed farms. Port Gore residents were consulted and no-one opposed the application, he said.

Salmon farming was intrusive and polluting, but he did not oppose the Melville Cove application because it was in a zone where aquaculture was allowed by Marlborough District Council.

He saw no reason why King Salmon could not have started full production at the site, Mr Marchant said. Yet, in its latest application, the company said the consent was relinquished because conditions were unworkable.

In his evidence, King Salmon operations manager Mark Gillard said, "Ngati Apa had taken over an appeal around this site", Mr Marchant said. However, last week Mr Marchant checked with the Environment Court which told him the appeal was in the name of King Salmon and Ngati Apa was not involved.

"Feigned ambivalence to the Melville Cove consent by King Salmon makes our efforts to accommodate them and uphold the plan look worthless," Mr Marchant said.

"It comes down to integrity which I am sure will once again prevail."

The Marlborough Express