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Aquaculture will become a big earner in the years ahead

NEW ZEALAND - It is understandable that anyone with an interest in coastal developments, whether it be aquaculture or housing development, will be watching with hawk-like intensity every move the Government makes.

The latest Beehive aquaculture strategy announced last week in Nelson has not had an exactly enthusiastic reception in some quarters.

Why? It fails to guarantee Maori will not be short-changed in the allocation of marine farm sites, according to Maori Party fisheries spokeswoman Tariana Turia.

She feels there is nothing in the plan which talks about the quality of representative space for allocation to iwi.

There has always been the fear that tangata whenua will end up with marine farming areas which are not likely to yield a higher than average productive capacity.

The Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act passed in 2004 gave Maori 20 percent of marine farming allocated since 1992 and of any new space.

If some of that space — or financial payments in place of it — have not been allocated by 2013, the Government may be required to pay compensation to Maori.

Iwi concerns over this emerged last year when the Environment Court — favouring Sealord-controlled SMW Consortium Ltd over the Tasman District Council — indicated aquaculture farms could be allowed outside designated aquaculture management areas (AMAs).

Source: Gisborne Herald

the Fish Site Editor

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