10 Jul 2013

Oyster farmers facing clean-up fines

6:15 am on 10 July 2013

Oyster farmers are in hot water in Northland with the regional council there threatening to fine them for repeatedly failing to pay a bond to cover the costs of any clean-up.

Northland Regional Council is asking 43 oyster farmers to pay bonds of $9000 per hectare to ensure ratepayers are not left with the clean-up bill if the farms are abandoned.

It has issued abatement notices to the farmers due to their failure to pay the bonds and says if they don't pay up in the next three months, or come up with another solution, it may have to start fining them $750 a day.

Council consents and monitoring manager Colin Dall says Northland ratepayers have had to pay to clean up 22 abandoned or derelict oyster farms recently.

Mr Dall says the abatement notices still provide time for the oyster industry to come up with an alternative solution to the farmer bonds.