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Reforms to the RMS are needed for better aquaculture management
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Reforms to the RMS are needed for better aquaculture management

The impact of high water temperatures on New Zealand King Salmon’s forecast revenues is a stark reminder that resource management system reforms will be needed to deliver better aquaculture management, Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker stated today.

David Parker stated that the company had announced last week that warmer seas in Pelorus Sound in Marlborough Sounds were likely to have contributed to more salmon deaths this year.

“Our response to climate changes cannot be delayed. Its effects have real and immediate consequences for New Zealand companies and the people who work there.

“This situation also shows that the Resource Management Act isn’t equipped to deal with such realities.” David Parker said that there hasn’t been any strategic planning to deal with these types of matters.

“Establishment small areas of new aquaculture space continues to be a lengthy, difficult, and litigious task, even after 20-years of efforts under RMA. Some marine farms must be better located, but the system makes it very difficult.

“RMA reform will result in a system that’s more agile and better equipped to adapt to the realities associated with climate change.

“This includes a sustainable management program for aquaculture, so that the sector can realize its potential, contributes to the economy, as well as help communities prosper.

“The reforms that we are putting into place will deliver a plan system that allows for growth in this sector, establishes environmental standards that ensure sustainable practices and delivers processes that allow adaptation to a changing world.

“We will also ensure a fair returns to New Zealanders through the marine space used for marine farming. These changes will ensure that sustainability is not compromised.

“We have one world’s largest Exclusive Economic Zones with a marine space more than 15x larger than New Zealand. This means that we can reap the benefits of a sustainable aquaculture industry while allocating a small portion of our marine environment for marine farming.

“A strong, sustainable aquaculture sector gives us more options in how we produce seafood here in New Zealand and also allows us to reduce environmental pressures caused by other fishing methods.

“I look forward collaborating with all New Zealanders including tangata whenua and industry, workers, and local communities to ensure the RMA reforms keep this important and sustainable sector moving along the right path.”

(With inputs from the New Zealand Government Press Release

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