Salmon farm relocations to trigger Marlborough Sounds Plan change

The Ministry for Primary Industries is seeking public comment on a proposal to relocate up to six King Salmon-operated salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds. If relocation proceeds, the Minister for Primary Industries would make regulations under section 360A of the Resource Management Act 1991 to change the Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan to enable relocation.

Last year a working group of community, iwi, officials, and industry representatives was tasked with assessing nine potential sites for relocation. The Government has decided to progress six of these for public consultation. Five of the relocation sites put forward for consideration are in Pelorus Sound, and one is in Tory Channel.

The proposed sites are described by MPI as being located further from residential properties; positioned in areas with stronger water currents, which would reduce the environmental effects on the seabed; and representing an equivalent surface area to the existing farms – in other words, there is no proposed increase in the surface area used for salmon farming.

An independent panel of three resource management experts will review expert research reports, analyse all written comments and hold public hearings during April 2017. The panel will be chaired by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton, and also includes Ron Crosby and Alan Dormer.

“Moving these farms would allow [King Salmon] to implement the environmental guidelines it has agreed with the Government, the Marlborough District Council, scientists and the community,” said Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy in a press release.

This consultation will close on Monday, 27 March.

Following consultation and hearings process, the independent panel will prepare advice for the Minister to consider later in the year.

To read the full consultation document please click here or visit: