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Hot Summer Hits Mussel Farms

by Ellen Hardy
06 May 2008, at 1:00am

NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand's hot summer has hit production in many of the marine farms at the top of the South Island.

Mussel spat catching sites in Golden Bay have been hit hardest with one of the biggest company's experiencing a 90 per cent drop in catch rates so far this season, according to reports in Nelson Mail.

Mussel and salmon growth rates are reported to be down and Nelson Mail says that Sealord aquaculture and New Zealand King Salmon are both reporting a decline in production.

Managing director of the Golden Bay-based Waitapu Fishing Company, Winnie Rountree told the newspaper that its mussel spat catch was down by 90 per cent and it had been the worst season in "at least the last decade". Waitapu owns and manages seven marine farms in Golden Bay and Tasman Bay including key spat catching sites at the Ring Road, offshore from Port Tarakohe, and at Wainui Bay.

Mr Rountree attributed the decrease to the warmer water temperatures that were unsuitable for mussels. The warm water affected both mussels' spat production and growth rates, he said.

View the Nelson Mail story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy