Landslide destroys farm, but hatchery saved
The hatchery at the Anatoki Salmon Farm has been saved after a large landslide which wiped out the main farm also threatened the area where juvenile salmon are spawned.
The owners of the Golden Bay tourist attraction, Gerda and Jan Dissel, fought overnight to salvage the remnants of their freshwater salmon farm after yesterday's disastrous weather brought down a slip which obliterated the farm housing between 50,000 and 70,000 adult and young salmon.
The freshwater stream that supplied the farm had been blocked by the landslide, which had then covered the farm.
The Dissels were in shock late yesterday at the state of the property on McCallum Rd beside the Anatoki River.
Mr Dissel then struggled 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.
He said today the juvenile fish in the hatchery were still alive after he was able to divert fresh water to the hatchery by duct taping guttering from the roof of their house and "piping" rainwater to the area.
"This disaster is terrible. It's really awful but many people from the community are offering to help.
"The big question remains, ‘are we going to open for the coming season', and where do we find a graveyard for all the dead fish," Mr Dissel said.
They predicted yesterday 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 yesterday.
The Dissels had insurance for the property and infrastructure, but the fish could not be insured.
Heavy earthmoving equipment was expected on the site today to begin what is expected to be a massive cleanup task.
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.
The Nelson Mail