Consultation process continues on controversial fish farm plan

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Advocates of an iwi-proposed fish farm off the coast of Waiheke expect it could potentially create dozens of jobs and bring in more than $100 million a year, while critics argue it isn’t worth the environmental cost to the Hauraki Gulf. As the consultation process heads into its third year, conservationists Reihana and Geoffrey Robinson recently spoke at Protect Our Gulf’s annual general meeting on Waiheke to provide an update on the ongoing consultation process.

Geoffrey says caged fin-fish farms like this are notorious for their environmental risks and seabed contamination and should be opposed. “As one noted ocean ecologist, Glenn Edney, recently wrote [in support of] us: ‘For me they are no different than intensive feedlots on the land, and have no place in a respectful relationship with te moana.”

Pare Hauraki Kaimoana, an asset holding company of the Hauraki Māori Trust Board, lodged a resource consent application for the fish farm with the Waikato Regional Council in December 2020. The fish farm would operate in the 300-hectare Coromandel Marine Farming Zone, located 11 kilometres from Waiheke and 13.5km from Coromandel Town. The marine farming zone was established to provide space for aquaculture, such as farming kingfish and hapuku. • Paul Mitchell

 

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