King Salmon farm relocation plan a poor solution to ecological devastation

If the proposal goes ahead, Minister Nathan Guy will recommend new regulations be created under s360A of the Resource Management Act enabling the farms to be relocated into areas where farming is currently prohibited.

King Salmon would still have to apply to the council to create the farms, but the usual resource management process, with public notifications and hearings, would not be followed.

Council environment committee chairman David Oddie declined to comment on how the salmon farm issues were being handled, as it was a Central Government matter.

A planning, finance and committee meeting would be held next week and Oddie believed the council would discuss its approach to the MPI proposal then.

When asked why the proposal was released this year, MPI director of economic development Luke Southorn said MPI, the council and community had developed best-practice guidelines for the salmon farms which they wanted to implement as soon as possible.

Three existing farms in low-flow areas were failing to meet best-practice standards, and three others were predicted to have issues meeting those standards in the future.

The sea floor directly under and around the farms are unrecognisable when compared to the same sea floor where there are no salmon farms.  Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean we can’t be upset and disgusted.   

For years companies such as King Salmon the world over have maintained that there was nothing wrong.  But if that was the case, why are King Salmon wanting to move the worst of their farms to areas with a more robust water flow?

If you’ll allow the analogy, instead of no longer burning tyres, they are shifting the burning of the tyres to a location with a stronger off-shore wind.   Pollution that is diluted and that doesn’t stick around can’t be measured.

To ensure the farmed salmon produce a large and profitable yield, the food is laced with chemicals to promote growth, combat disease and even artificially gives the salmon the orange colour.   A lot of it sinks to the sea floor where these chemicals turn into a suffocating soup.

But if the farms are moved into areas that have thus far not been considered due to competing water use and interest, a lot of that crud can then flow away so the problem no longer looks like it exists.

There is no point in trying to work on cleaner waterways on land, and then just turn a blind eye to what we’re doing just a few meters off-shore.  These waters are shared by swimmers, fishermen, sailors, kayakers and are an integral part of our landscape.

 

– Stuff

 


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