Letters to the editor

23:10, May 16 2012

King Salmon bid

In the beginning I had no particular axe to grind on the King Salmon proposal, except that it would be disastrous to have the Sounds finish up as one big salmon farm in 10 or 20 years. But I am now getting a little tired of Grant Rosewarne's patronising and, in the Express on April 26, downright offensive comments suggesting the council is misapprehending a number of issues.

I was pleased to see Peter Jerram putting the record straight on April 30. However, I was disturbed to read there are 15 further sites waiting for the results of this application.

It was interesting to note that on April 26, in addition to Mr Rosewarne's letter, King Salmon general manager Mark Preece had also gone to print. With two of the big guns entering the fray, perhaps they are getting worried about the outcome.

Mr Preece states that a survey confirms that 53.6 per cent of Marlburians are in favour of the company's expansion plans, but it is not that hard to do the maths: 46.4 per cent are not in favour. Hardly a thumping majority, and if the margin of error is 3 per cent, which it usually is, it could make it about 50-50.

He also details the ownership of King Salmon, but conveniently fails to tell us Evergreen Holdings (51 per cent) is a Malaysian company - 51 plays 49, ask yourself who the winner will be.


When the application was first filed I had no firm opinions one way or the other, but I certainly know where I stand now.



Benefits exaggerated

Malaysian company Evergreen Holdings, a 51 per cent owner of NZ King Salmon, has overstated the economic benefits in its application to occupy an additional 183 hectares of public space exclusively in the Marlborough Sounds.

The benefits claimed by the company in their application are based on confidential information and undisclosed analysis, which seems highly inappropriate given their claim of "national significance".

King Salmon has claimed that the Nelson and Marlborough economies will grow at three to four times the rates of other sectors. This exaggeration has been relayed to the Minister of Conservation by the Environmental Protection Authority, which has then determined the matter as being of national significance.

King Salmon expansion would in fact add less than 1 per cent to the top of the south's regional economy and the exaggeration of economic benefits has more than likely influenced the Minister of Conservation.

A proposal through which Kiwis can earn between $100 million and $200m from the sale of their labour and capital to Malaysians while access to sea space is denied and the environment and wild fish stocks is put at risk is not substantial in a national context.



Ticket to poaching

Former salmon farmer Clive Barker [letters, Express, April 26] supports trout farming but his letter failed to give the full picture.

His salmon farm at Pupu Springs near Takaka claimed to be inducing sea-run salmon to return. It was criticised at the time as impractical as Golden Bay's waters were too warm to get a return of fish as salmon like cool currents. The criticism was proven correct.

In saying 26 countries farm trout, he is pointing to a glut on world markets for a very poor-tasting product. I've seen farm trout on sale in Australia and it looked terrible. Nor does he mention the problems of the Australian trout farm industry when at one stage it applied for government subsidies to keep going.

He quotes Chile as farming trout but Google it and read of "the disastrous consequences of intensive fish farming along Chile's once pristine coastline where ... many farms are plagued by disease and pollution".

Put a dollar value on trout flesh and poaching and black market rackets will flourish, especially with the Kiwi poacher culture. Dollar values on paua, crayfish and venison gave rise to uncontrollable poaching.



The Marlborough Express