Low compliance rate from farms

One hundred per cent compliance by Marlborough Sounds marine farms with lighting standards may be impossible, says Marlborough District Council chief executive Andrew Besley.

Requiring companies to regularly check lights might be an alternative way forward, Mr Besley said.

Marlborough harbourmaster Alex van Wijngaarden told the council's environment committee that of 234 farms inspected throughout the Sounds last year, 89 were not compliant and 12 did not show any lights.

He issued 66 formal warnings and eight infringement notices and continued to talk to the Marlborough Marine Farming Association about what failure rate was acceptable, Mr Wijngaarden said.

Compliance was especially poor in Croisilles Harbour/Waikawa Bay where only 17 of the 41 farms inspected met standards and three had no lights working, he said.

Iwi representative Raymond Smith said 100 per cent non-compliance in isolated Port Gore was dangerous for people driving around in a boat in the dark.

Committee chairman Peter Jerram said electrical lights and seawater did not go well together.

In most cases of non compliance, lights had been installed and maintenance was the problem.

The Marlborough Express