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Coastal areas to be excluded from aquaculture

by the Fish Site Editor
30 May 2006, at 1:00am

NEW ZEALAND - Environment Canterbury is inviting discussion on coastal areas where people believe aquaculture activities (eg mussel farms) should be excluded.

Coastal areas to be excluded from aquaculture - NEW ZEALAND - Environment Canterbury is inviting discussion on coastal areas where people believe aquaculture activities (eg mussel farms) should be excluded.

This is part of the councils ongoing work on the allocation of water space for aquaculture. It follows on from recent changes to the Resource Management Act, stemming from aquaculture reform legislation.

Under the new system, aquaculture can only be established within areas specifically identified in regional coastal plans as aquaculture management areas or AMAs. Areas that have existing aquaculture operations are deemed to be aquaculture management areas under the legislation.

Environment Canterbury has been investigating which areas could or should be excluded from aquaculture as a first step in this process, said Cr Bob Kirk, chairman coastal portfolio committee.

A series of maps have been prepared, indicating areas along the Canterbury coast where there are existing constraints to aquaculture development. These include:

  • Areas of significant natural value, identified in the current Regional Coastal Environment Plan.
  • Areas of Banks Peninsula to be retained in their present natural states. These are also specified in the Regional Coastal Environment Plan and include many of the Peninsulas bays.
  • Navigation channels and port operational areas.
  • Dredging spoil dumping grounds.
  • Mataitai and Taiapure.
  • Marine reserves.
  • Council wastewater outfalls and associated mixing zones.
  • Coastal water quality areas. These are areas managed to improve water quality to a particular standard. These standards include water suitable for aquatic ecosystems, contact recreation (eg swimming) and shellfish gathering. There may be areas of the coastline where water quality is not good enough to support aquaculture production, which requires relatively pristine, clean water.
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