Salmon and a roundabout
Last week I attended an inspiring aquaculture conference in Norway called AquaVision. The keynote speaker was Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations. Mr Annan talked about aquaculture's lighter environmental footprint and his expectation that aquaculture will make an increasingly valuable contribution to sustainably feeding the world's growing population. Numerous speakers presented scientifically based research about fin fish farming.
There were some protesters outside the conference venue during Mr Annan's speech so later that evening I went online to check out their opinions. I found numerous statements which were factually wrong.
For example, opponents continue to promote the myth that it takes many kilograms of wild fish to produce one kilogram of salmon when in fact salmon farms produce more marine protein and oil than their fish consume.
My point is that if you log on to the internet you can find a lot of information about salmon farming that is plainly wrong. Recently it has been disappointing to see some of this picked up and used in the New Zealand context.
NZ King Salmon produces a nutritious, high grade, high value animal protein packed with essential Omega-3s with less effect on the environment that many other forms of farming. Salmon farming does have an effect on a relatively small area of the seafloor beneath our farms, most of which are sited over mud flats.
Everything humans do in the environment has an effect but in this case the benefits for New Zealand health, local employment and the regional economy far outweigh any small effect.
NZ King Salmon
Firstly, let me say that the man who wrote in last week about the Seymour St roundabout downgrade in Blenheim hit the nail smack on the head.
It looks a bit like Blenheim's answer to Nelson's boulder bank. It really is a disaster and a waste of our money.
More importantly, why don't the various departments in the council talk to one another? I read that a request for more bus shelters has been met with a council response to build six more shelters over the next three years at $6000 because it spreads the expenditure and we are a bit broke at the moment.
By my figuring, if the council had not given $60,000 to some quasi-tourist group called Grow Marlborough, or not spent $65,000 on messing up a roundabout, they could have built 12 bus shelters immediately.
That would mean a closer spacing of the shelters, making catching a bus much easier for those who have mobility problems. It would, therefore, increase bus usage, which is the object of the exercise.
That, to me, is much better social engineering and a proper return for ratepayers' money.
But then I'm only a common retired plebeian without any formal tertiary education. What would I know?
Note: While the roundabout work cost $65,000, the Marlborough District Council had to pay only $23,112 of that, with the remainder covered by a New Zealand Transport Agency subsidy.
The $60,000 for Grow Marlborough has been included in the council budget for 2012-13, but it says a lot of work is required before the funds are handed over. – Editor
The Marlborough Express