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Royal Society Lecture

Posted 8 years, 5 months ago    1 comment

Royal Society of New Zealand Waikato Branch

Lecture Series, Facing the Future 
All welcome.

Tuesday August 14
7.30 pm

Fish farming in the Waikato region

Dr Hilke Giles
Coastal Scientist
Waikato Regional Council

Room S.G.01
Gate 8, Waikato University

Aquaculture began in the Waikato with inter-tidal oyster farms in the late 1960s and mussel farms in the early 1980s. The Waikato region is now the second biggest region for aquaculture with 1500 hectares allocated to mussel and oyster farming. Central government has identified aquaculture as an important industry with the potential to make a much greater contribution to the nation's wellbeing. The law that governs marine farming has been re-written and took effect in October 2011. Some of the law changes have a direct impact on the Waikato region, including allowing marine farmers to apply for consent for fish farming. Fish farming will be allowed in the Wilson Bay Marine Farming Zone (up to about 4000 tonnes annual production) and in a new 300 hectare zone about 10 kilometres offshore from Coromandel town that has been created by the law. This zone can accommodate another 8000 tonnes of fish farming. In this presentation I will briefly discuss the law reform and the regulatory processes related to fish farming. I will also provide an overview of the potential environmental effects of fish farming, past and present projects instigated to help assess and manage these effects and some specific examples of how Waikato Regional Council will manage the environmental effects of fish farming.

Hilke Giles is coastal scientist at Waikato Regional Council. She has an MSc, PhD (Marine Biology) and PGDip (Management Studies) from Waikato University and an MSc (Applied Systems Science) from the University of Osnabrueck, Germany. Prior to working at Waikato Regional Council Hilke has worked at NIWA, specialising in the environmental effects of aquaculture. Her role at Waikato Regional Council covers a diverse range of coastal resource monitoring and management aspects.


8 years, 5 months ago
I am just about to abandon a long-standing(pre-moratorium) application for additional mussel farming water in Northland, which would have fitted nicely with the government's drive to promote aquaculture in the regions. I am taking this action as the costs of the application - and the following hearings, appeals etc - are anticipated to be in the region of $1m following which success would still not be assured. This clearly shows the changes to the RMA are not having the desired effect as the councils can preclude the activity by piling on additional requirements until an applicant can afford no more. The solution may be to have hearings and appeals first, then issue consents subject to satisfactory scientific/landscape/effects outcomes as the final stage. Under the present requirements it is highly unlikely any more consents will be sought.

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