ES seeks potential marine farm sites

TERRI RUSSELL
Last updated 05:00 09/09/2013

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Environment Southland has begun a $50,000-plus project to look at possible sites for marine farming along Southland's coast.

Aquaculture zoning in the Southland region is a three-phase project looking at potential sites for marine farming.

Environment Southland senior resource planner Kylie Galbraith said it was hoped the project would be completed by April.

Work started on phases one and two of the project last month to identify broad-scale areas where aquaculture farming may be possible, she said.

The third phase would identify potential sites and look at the environmental impacts of each site.

Environment Southland has funded $25,000 for phase one and two through its 2013-14 coastal reserve balance, which has been matched by the Ministry for Primary Industries, she said. The cost of the third phase depends on the outcome of the initial phases.

Last year, Venture Southland prepared its Southland aquaculture strategy, which identified the need for more marine farm space in Southland.

Venture Southland enterprise and strategic projects group manager Steve Canny said the organisation had assisted in research and development for about five Southland businesses trying to farm Bluff oysters. The businesses needed to send their oysters to certified waters, such as Otago Harbour, to be finished off so they were suitable for export.

terri.russell@stl.co.nz

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