12 Aug 2010

Threat to aquaculture plans seen from oil drilling

9:03 am on 12 August 2010

The head of the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board says oil drilling in the Raukumara basin would be a serious threat to the iwi's aquaculture plans.

The Government has granted a Brazilian company, Petrobras, a five year exploration licence.

Board chair Robert Edwards says the iwi has a joint venture with Sealord which will see the first five mussel lines put in off Opotiki in October, and is also entering a joint venture with a Chinese company, Oriental Ocean, to farm sea cucumber in an onshore facility.

But he told Waatea News that the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has made Maori wary.