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Co-operation Cleans Up Golden Bay

NEW ZEALAND - Catchment-borne contamination in north-west Golden Bay is being tackled by a co-operative venture between Collingwood's dairy and aquaculture industries. It will benefit the both fish farming and wild catch activities in the area.

During the past five years, aquaculture farms and fishing areas offshore from the Aorere River have been closed for harvest numerous times because of high faecal contamination.

According to reports on The Press news service, monitoring discovered that the contamination originated from the increasing development of dairy farms and some ineffective septic tanks.

Fonterra's South Island sustainable dairying specialist, Lew Metcalf, said farmers and the community in the Aorere catchment took the issues on board were working together to make a difference.

Stream-side plantings, waterway culverts, bridges and underpasses have been gradually developed to reduce the amount of effluent deposited in the water. Workshops and one-on-one consultations on effluent disposal methods and practices have also helped, said Metcalf.

"It's been a concerted community effort, which is continuing to grow and develop. And while it is not currently perfect, in 10 years it will be a lot better than it is now," he added.

Helen Smale, of the MSQP, said marine farms were the that the measurement systems now in place act as an alarm for the whole community.

"The work we have done benefits our sector and provides continued employment, greater investment opportunities and an impetus for environmental sustainability," she said.

View the NZ Press story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy

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