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National marine acquaculture standard proposed

15 June 2017

A proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture has been released, with the objective of making re-consenting marine farms more consistent and efficient.

The standard has been prepared by the Ministry for Primary Industries in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation. 

The Ministry for the Environment says the proposal aims to:

  • Address variations and regional inconsistencies in processing replacement permit applications for existing marine farms,
  • Reduce New Zealand’s exposure to biosecurity risks,
  • Enable better use of space within existing marine farms,
  • Improve environmental outcomes.

Government agencies have worked with an expert reference group to provide advice on and test the proposed NES. The reference group includes members of local government, the aquaculture industry, Te Ohu Kaimoana, and environmental organisations. Feedback from this consultation will be used to further refine the proposal. A decision on the proposed NES will be made in 2018.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says it will host a series of public meetings and hui where people can learn more about the proposed standard and ask questions directly of those involved.

Public consultation closes on 8 August 2017.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says the problem the new environmental standard addresses is the "bow wave" of 750 nationwide marine farms, or about 64 per cent of the industry, coming up for reconsenting in the next seven years.

"This is compounded by each council having different processes and rules and these processes and rules being changed with plan updates. This new environmental standard will save marine farmers tens of millions of dollars in consent renewals and ensure a more consistent approach to regulation of the industry.”

Last updated on the 16th September 2019