12 Aug 2015

Otago Harbour Bluff oyster project on hold

7:01 am on 12 August 2015

A company hoping to finish growing Bluff oysters in Otago Harbour for export has put the project on hold for a year.

Bluff oysters

Bluff oysters Photo: Wiki Commons

Southern Clams, which harvests and exports cockles, has applied for a consent to finish growing up to 1.5 million two-year-old oysters in the harbour near Port Chalmers.

The oysters cannot be sent for export from Bluff harbour because its water is not clean enough.

The company's application for a resource consent from the Otago Regional Council was to go to public hearings at the end of next month.

But Southern Clams operations manager Dave Redshaw said it had stopped the process so it has more time to satisfy Port Otago, which is worried about the security of its shipping channel.

"There's questions of the positioning of the sites, maybe the size and some of the technical details for securing the long lines, so a lot more work to be done there.

"It's the detail, the time frame, there wasn't enough time before the hearing date."

The planned supplier of the oysters, the New Zealand Bluff Oyster Company, said it had not agreed to be involved.

But Mr Redshaw said that would not stop the project as there were other groups interested in supplying the oysters.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs