Marine farm 'a threat'

by 5m Editor
2 June 2006, at 1:00am

NEW ZEALAND - Forest and Bird says it is disappointed the Government has given the green light to a major marine farm development on the South Island&#39;s West Coast, claiming that it threatens the safety of Hector&#39;s dolphins and Fiordland crested penguins in the area. The Ministry of Fisheries has given the preliminary go-ahead to the plan, the first marine farm on the Coast. Jackson Bay Mussels Ltd, a Nelson-based consortium, has plans for a 45.5ha mussel farm in the clear sheltered waters 1km offshore in Jackson Bay, north of Fiordland. However, Eugenie Sage, Forest and Bird&#39;s South Island field coordinator, said Jackson Bay was a very important nursery area for Hector&#39;s dolphins with high numbers of sightings of mothers with calves. &quot;Increased boat traffic by vessels servicing the farm increases the risk of boat strike, particularly for dolphin calves.&quot; Sage said 10 per cent of the world&#39;s population of the Fiordland penguin was also found at the Jackson Head colony. <i>Source:</i>

5m Editor