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Guidance for Setting up New Farms near Canterbury

NEW ZEALAND - Environment Canterbury as released an aquaculture management report, which is aimed at guiding entrepreneurs wishing to set up new marine farms outside designated areas.

Environment Canterbury has released a report outlining the statutory framework for how the Invited Private Plan Change process can be used for the creation of Aquaculture Management Areas and obtaining coastal permits for aquaculture activities. The report also documents the policies and procedures that will need to be developed or undertaken by regional councils when undertaking this process.

Currently, any area in Canterbury with an existing marine farm qualifies as an Aquaculture Management Area. There are 11 around Banks Peninsula; four in Akaroa Harbour, three in Pigeon Bay and two each Squally and Menzies Bays. There are also 23 areas in the Canterbury Coastal Marine Area specifically excluded from marine farming or aquaculture and these areas generally qualify as significant natural areas in Environment Canterbury's Regional Coastal Environment Plan. Maps identifying these areas are online [click here].

Environment Canterbury coastal committee chair, Cr David Sutherland, said the release of this report follows the decision by councillors in 2005 not to proceed with a council-initiated plan change to create an Aquaculture Management Area in the region, instead opting for the Invited Private Plan Change process.

"Those wanting to create a marine farm outside a designated zone or an excluded area can be invited by Environment Canterbury to apply for a private plan change that will involve public consultation," said Cr Sutherland.

"The report provides advice on the statutory process and how people can avoid potential pitfalls. It is a useful tool for other councils and stakeholders in the ongoing implementation of the Invited Private Plan Change process to create an Aquaculture Management Area. It may also be useful to the reform of aquaculture legislation, currently underway in stage two of the Resource Management Act review."

The report was developed by Environment Canterbury, with financial support from the Ministry for the Environment. It was drafted with input from an aquaculture advisory group, consisting of government and industry stakeholders, including Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report The Invited Private Plan Change process for the Creation of Aquaculture Management Areas – An evaluation to inform implementation (pdf 1.06 MB) by clicking here.

the Fish Site Editor

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