21 Oct 2009

Changes in the wind for sea farm applications

6:05 am on 21 October 2009

Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley says the processing time for two major aquaculture applications is appalling and boosts the argument for the Resource Management Act to be reformed.

Applications for both the Eastern Sea Farms in the Bay of Plenty and the Wilsons Bay Mussel farm in Thames have finally been approved, almost nine years after first being lodged.

The Eastern Sea Farms project was decided in the High Court last week following opposition from the Sanford group.

The other smaller development was approved on Tuesday.

Mr Heatley says the drawn out process heralds the final nail in the coffin for the present aquaculture rules.

He says a technical advisory group has prepared a report which is currently under consideration.

The aquaculture industry earns $400 million per year in exports. Its goal is to become a $1 billion per year business by 2025.