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Sea farms Ruling Will Cost region 700 jobs

NEW ZEALAND - The region will miss out on 700 new jobs because of a decision to decline 2000ha of space for aquaculture in Tasman and Golden bays, says a consortium of mussel farmers and processors.

Last week the Ministry of Fisheries made a preliminary decision on 2108ha of space identified as potential aquaculture management areas in Tasman and Golden bays. It approved 108ha but declined the rest because it would harm either the marine environment or the existing commercial fisheries, or both.

However, the SMW Consortium, which includes Nelson companies Sealord and Maclab, on Thursday said the decision could cost the region millions of dollars.

Spokesman Paul Williams said the Tasman AMA had the potential to generate about $70 million in annual export earnings and up to 700 new jobs in the region.

"The Tasman-Golden bay community, local iwi and New Zealand as a whole will miss out on potential earnings and jobs if the Ministry of Fisheries' preliminary decision to decline 2000ha of space in Golden Bay is confirmed," he said.

Source: TheNelsonMail

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