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Anderton gives assurances on aquaculture

NEW ZEALAND - Mayor Alistair Sowman is pleased with a reassurance from Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton that he is committed to helping the aquaculture industry, despite no promises for a Marlborough Solution.

In a meeting at parliament on Monday, Mr Sowman put his concerns to the minister about the future of the aquaculture industry in Marlborough.

Mr Sowman wants an early multimillion dollar settlement of Maori aquaculture claims, to allow for the region's stagnating marine farming industry to progress.

He asked for the meeting with Mr Anderton to discuss a "Marlborough Solution", which would see about $30 million paid out to iwi in the next few years, in lieu of marine farm space. Marlborough is considered unique because all water space available under the regional plan is already allo-cated.

Mr Sowman said the aquaculture law reforms requiring local authorities to allocate Aquaculture Management Areas (AMSs) were unworkable for the region, as was the required allocation of space for Maori.

Mr Sowman said Mr Anderton said there would be no "Marlborough Solution", but he said the issues concerning this region would be considered as a part of a review of the aquaculture review legislation under study by the Ministry of Fisheries.

Source: Marlborough Express