Salmon farm approved after channel mishap

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
26 March 2007, at 1:00am

NEW ZEALAND - The company behind a large new salmon farm proposed for Tory Channel is confident there will be no repeat of a mishap that saw another farm float free into the shipping lane last year.

New Zealand King Salmon has received resource consent to allow it to put a new farm at Clay Point in Tory Channel.

The new farm is directly opposite Te Pangu Farm which last March broke free of its massive mooring structure and forced the closure of the route to shipping for almost a day.

Opponents of the farm have voiced concerns over pollution from fish faeces and uneaten feed, visual effects and navigational safety.

New Zealand King Salmon chief executive Paul Steere said the company had done further research on its mooring systems since last year's break-out.

"It unexpectedly broke away despite 31 mooring lines around it. We have become even more experienced since that time. That is the challenge of that channel," Steere said.

The channel produced fast, cold currents with the incoming and outgoing tides that made it ideal for salmon farming, Steere said.

The strong currents quickly dispersed waste from the farm, Steere said.

"Tory Channel is a super place to farm salmon and we hope to have fish in the (new farm) by November," Steere said.

Marlborough Environment Centre spokesman, Steffan Browning, said he was worried about nutrient pollution from fish excrement and the thousands of tonnes of feed going into the farm each year.

"This will be a very industrial thing right in the pathway, the gateway to Marlborough," Browning said.