Letters to the editor
I would like to feel sorry for Mr McManaway ["Muddy start for whitebaiting", Express, August 15] in having his nap and whitebaiting stand disrupted by jet skiers etc, but what he and others with sock nets should think about by having living accommodation right beside their stands is the decimation they are causing our whitebait fishery by having their nets in the water all day, every day of the season in all weathers.
This only allows the few bait that go up the middle of the river to reach the breeding grounds. Fishers like Mr McManaway with their sock nets are completely decimating our small fisheries, with catches getting smaller every year.
At least those that fish with a whiteboard allow a significant number of bait up the river when water conditions are not clear and calm.
Having been a whitebaiter for more than 40 years using a whiteboard, it is noticeable the fishery was very abundant before sock nets became common practice.
Marlborough's whitebait fishery is very small, unlike the West Coast, and requires urgent review of how it is fished before it becomes unrecoverable. I am aware that whitebait continue to run outside the season, but the bulk run within the set season.
I don't believe that a form of licensing is the answer, as has been mooted. Whitebait need to be given a fair chance of reaching their breeding grounds and removal of sock nets seems to be to be the logical answer.
Salmon farming in the Marlborough Sounds should not proceed.
Soon, the EPA's board of inquiry will listen to a likely record-breaking number of submissions, many against the expansion of NZ King Salmon.
After Sustain our Sounds members have gone through the NZKS environmental assessment reports, we now have stronger reservations about PR statements that NZKS produces salmon with “environmental integrity”, “no environment effect detected”, “in balance with the environment”, “having an excellent environmental record”.
The company has breached some existing consent conditions as it produces 8900 tonnes of salmon. Farm pollution has been detected much further than the allowed 150 metres and copper levels are unacceptable.
Its newly applied pollution footprint could go as far as 900m. We believe bottom pollution is only 20 per cent of the waste created, the other 80 per cent is released into the water column, the impact of which has not been properly monitored in the 25 years since farming started.
In Hawke's Bay we now have a "red tide" caused by dinoflagellate Akashiwo sanguinae through excessive nutrients. Where this dinoflagellate is not directly poisonous, the dying biomass of algae can create a hypoxic (oxygen depleted) seabed, potentially killing everything. The algae also affects bird feathers and is known to kill seabirds overseas through hypothermia.
Maybe the endangered Marlborough Sounds shag is not so safe after all, if huge quantities of waste nutrients are dumped in the middle of the area where most New Zealand king shags are feeding.
Sustain Our Sounds
There was a programme on TV a few years ago about an old lady who had been pretty unwell and who was worried that if she had a heart attack in the street, the paramedics would try and resuscitate her. She didn't want any efforts made to keep her alive - she had had enough of her life.
She talked to her doctor and he said ambulance staff wouldn't look at medic alert bracelets or anything, they would start resuscitation efforts first and look for those things second.
“They will just open your shirt and administer electric shocks to your heart,” she was told.
So this elderly lady got a tattoo, right across her chest, that read "Do not resuscitate".
Mr Editor, the simple statement you made in your blog "Judge not on appearances" (Express, August 20) that seeing a tattoo doesn't give you the right to judge people, "it just tells you something about them", is in itself judgmental.
A tattoo tells you nothing about a person. If you want to know why they have one, stop judging, sit down with them and ask.
I chanced to see the Express on the web and saw the letter by Ken Sims of the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers [August 17].
What a good letter and spelling out the importance of rivers to all New Zealanders whatever their ethnic ancestry. Good on the federation for standing up.
I agree John Key may be leaving the door ajar for tradeable water rights and selling the public's rivers to the highest bidder. Isn't that what he's doing with asset sales? The public's assets sold to the highest bidder.
In the water/rivers debate as a trout fisherman, one thing is very conspicuous. Where is Fish & Game? I pay a licence fee for them to be a guardian of rivers and trout and a strong advocate. Sad.
Fish farm deaths
Jingoes! "Fish farm deaths a mystery to owner" - that's Thursday's front page headline [Express, August 16].
King Salmon wants to expand its salmon farms and it can't get it right with the ones it has got.
Who wants disease in our Marlborough Sounds? Not me. Nor do the tourists. I reckon while Mr Rosewarne of King Salmon blames "a toxic algal bloom", what caused the poison? I suppose he reckons it was natural. Algal blooms don't just happen. They need the right conditions.
Mr Rosewarne says "dead zones" are common under salmon farms. So expanding salmon farms in the Sounds will be a good thing?
Yeah, right. I reckon salmon farms are bad news for the environment.
Well said Mike Trought ("Scientist says land too good for houses", Express, August 15) in saying land ear-marked for Blenheim's expansion is some of the region's most productive land.
As a former town and country planner with the Marlborough County Council, I have already expressed amazement that Auckland consultants Urbanism Plus recommended spreading northwards over the productive Wairau Plains. Obviously the Marlborough District Council did not listen then. It is a cardinal sin in town planning to sprawl urban growth over fertile land.
There are far better options, as Mike pointed out, at Renwick. His suggestion of a regular bus service to Renwick is a positive idea. And there may be better options to the south on to the lower slopes of Wither Hills where stormwater and sewer gradients do not pose a problem. As it was, Urbanism Plus, in advocating northwards expansion, had pumping stations incorporated in their design. In addition, Urbanism Plus had serious flaws in their street and commercial layout.
Which poses the question, why are we getting Auckland-based planners to tell us where to grow?
- The Mirror