The NZ King Salmon 2012 application for more farms in the Marlborough Sounds highlighted the need for co-operation between industry, Council and the community when it comes to protecting the Sounds.
That protection comes from conditions in a farm’s resource consent that state what can and can’t be done in the marine environment and it’s the Council’s job to monitor and enforce those conditions.
Historically, environmental standards vary from salmon farm to salmon farm, depending on when the consents were given. To get consistency and help with compliance, King Salmon volunteered to work with Council, scientists and the community (represented by the Sounds Advisory Group) to develop best practice guidelines.
Council sought the advice of Professor Kenneth Black of the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences to identify where the consent monitoring could be improved. Professor Black visited Marlborough in 2013 and provided expert review as the guidelines developed.
With the benefit of more science about the environmental impact on the seafloor of fish farming, this collaborative approach has come up with clear performance targets that aim for well managed salmon farming in balance with the ecology of the Sounds.
King Salmon and Council sought public comment on the guidelines in October 2014. Some minor changes were made and the guidelines were presented to Council in November 2014.
The next step is for King Salmon to progressively put them into practice at the company’s five farms in their existing eight sites in Pelorus and Queen Charlotte Sounds.
The three new farms approved by the Board of Inquiry in 2013 already have tougher consent conditions.
For more information contact Dr Steve Urlich, Marlborough District Council coastal scientist firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 520 7400.
Professor Black Report 2013 (587 Kb)
Public Summary Presented to Council November 2014 (1.6 Mb)
Best Practice Guidelines – Final November 2014 (1.8 Mb)