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Legal Action over Mussel Farms

NEW ZEALAND - The Tasmanian District Council faces potential legal action over approval of mussel farms in the Golden and Tasman bay areas.

The Nelson fishing industry says there has been a lack of consultation over the approval of up to 1000ha of mussel farms in region.

According to the Nelson Mail Challenger Finfisheries Management Company chief executive Carol Scott said the action was being taken on behalf of the Challenger fisheries management companies, which were upset the Tasman District Council allowed two mussel companies to change their operation from six-monthly seasonal spat catching to year-round mussel farming.

The fishing industry has said it will be calling for a judicial review proceedings in the High Court and taking action against the Ministry of Fisheries over its decision to approve a further 480ha in Tasman Bay.

She said they were concerned about the effects of year-round mussel farming on fishing or fisheries resources, and the fact they were unable to talk to the council about the issue.

"What the TDC did was that they decided they didn't need to notify anybody, not just us but the rest of the community, and that's the part that got us," Ms Scott told the newspaper.

View the Nelson Mail story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy

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