The owners of Golden Bay tourist attraction Anatoki Salmon are fighting to salvage the remnants of their freshwater salmon farm after a large landslide wiped out the main farm this afternoon.
Gerda and Jan Dissel were in shock at the state of the property on McCallum Rd beside the Anatoki River, after the landslide obliterated the main part of the farm which contained between 50,000 and 70,000 adult and young salmon.
Mr Dissel was struggling to save between 60,000 and 80,000 salmon eggs and salmon fry in the hatchery, after their vital water supply had been cut off by the landslide.
They predicted the damage had wiped out all the stock for the next two years.
‘‘We have worked so hard for eight years, and now it’s all gone,’’ a shocked Mrs Dissel said.
Speaking from the site, Nelson Mail reporter Charlotte Squire said the freshwater stream that supplied the farm had been blocked by the landslide, which had then covered the farm. A Solly’s earthmoving machine had arrived at the property to begin moving some of the earth which had built up a dam.
She said the property appeared to be still vulnerable to further slips.
‘‘There is so much mud, silt and trees everywhere. It looks as bad as the December 2011 floods.’’
She said members of the community had rallied to help. The Dissels had insurance for the property and infrastructure, but not the fish which could not be insured.
The salmon farm on the Anatoki River began in 1998 as Golden Bay Salmon Fishing and began trading as Anatoki Salmon Farm in July 2001.
The Dissels bought it in 2005, and have grown the business into a ‘‘tourist hotspot’’, where visitors catch their own freshwater salmon.
- © Fairfax NZ News