Home - option4.co.nz The more people we can get involved in these issues the better

Promote option4

Please help option4




Closing the Net - Sea Cage Farming

Meeting Report

  26 Sept 2003


Venue: Royal NZ Yacht Squadron, Auckland
Date: Friday 26 th September 2003
Duration: 2.5 hours
Attendance: 15 people

Peach Cove Update
Protect Peach Cove (PPC) was set up three years ago to oppose the establishment of a kingfish farm in Peach Cove, Northland. Shonah Scott was part of the group. They have been successful in stopping the kingfish farm going ahead. In the process of opposing the farm PPC made contact with Don Staniford.

Waikato Region Aquaculture
Richard Brabant, lawyer, has been representing the Auckland Yachting Association and Boating Associations in Auckland and Northland in the Environment Court cases relating to Aquaculture Marine Areas (AMAs). They have succeeded in having Environment Waikato consider a planned approach to marine farming in their region, namely in the Wilson 's Bay area. This means they do not have to deal with each farm on a case-by-case basis.

Sea cage Fish Farming
Don Staniford toured NZ during September and October 2003 to discuss sea cage finfish farming. Don has a background in Scotland studying salmon farms and the impacts of aquaculture. Don recently addressed a conference in Queensland, Australia and visited finfish farms in South Australia.

  • NZ has 7th largest coastal zone in the world
  • 4th largest EEZ
  • Aquaculture is expected to expand threefold by 2010
  • More effort will go into high value fin fish species rather than shellfish
  • High value in kingfish, snapper, salmon and tuna
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector in the world
  • Oceania is the 2nd fastest growing food production area

Niwa figures -

  • NZ aquaculture production = 160,000 tonnes = $280M pa
  • Australia 's aqua production = 30,000 tonnes = $680M pa
  • At 8% growth per annum, NZ aquaculture could be worth $1b by 2020

The pressure is on NZ to increase production of the high value species. NZ has one kingfish farm (Crail Bay, Marlborough) and 28 salmon farms, at present.

Flaws of Fin Fish Farming

  • Wastes
  • Escapes
  • Diseases and parasites
  • Chemicals
  • Feed/ food supply

Main fish species being farmed in the world are kingfish, salmon, tuna, snapper and barramundi.

Niwa produced a report in 2002 for MFish on the impact of marine farming on wild fish populations.

NZ Salmon Farming

  • Some evidence to prove algal blooms in Big Glory Bay, Marlborough are related to salmon farms in area. High levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in water.
  • Low number of escapes
  • Farmers using formalin since other chemicals banned in 2002
  • Copper and zinc contaminants found under sea cages


NZ Kingfish Farming

  • 7000 kingfish dumped from Niwa facility in Northland during 2003
  • Serious problem with escapes from kingfish farms in South Australia (30,000 fish have escaped from 6 farms)
  • Escapes/ released kingfish populations have unknown impact on wild fish populations
  • Questions arising about effective parasite treatment for farmed fish

Farm Feed

  • Oil depleted and/or contaminated fish meal fed to animals in farms
  • 3-5,000 tonnes of wild fish needed to feed 1 tonne of farmed salmon, bass, bream (poss tuna)
  • Concerns about PCB, dioxin and DDT contamination from antifouling used on sea cages
  • Concerns about the future worldwide consumer boycott of farmed fish due to environmental concerns with farming method


Future Farming

  • Off-shore aquaculture being investigated
  • Could possibly use oil rigs for fish farming
  • Could be used to farm oysters, zebra fish, salmon and kingfish
  • “Ocean ranching”
  • Genetically engineered seafood being investigated
  • Experiments being conducted on GE kingfish and tuna
  • An estimated 30% of fish worldwide will be from farms by 2020

Privatisation of Resources

  • Problems with using common property for private ventures
  • Shifting of cultivation of the sea to pristine inshore areas
  • Concern with multinational companies exploiting local resources then leaving sites once they become uneconomic – no redress

Finfish farming would be environmentally acceptable if on-land farming sites were established and regulated. Any discharges could be treated and tested before entering the marine environment. The Far North District Council have recently approved a finfish farm site on land in the Parengarenga Harbour. Impacts of this farm on the environment should be monitored and if successful could lead to more on-land facilities.

Farming of finfish in our coastal waters needs careful consideration and adequate analysis of the risks/benefits. Overseas impact studies demonstrate finfish farming can be detrimental to the environment if not managed correctly.

The meeting was specifically organised on the Friday to allow for members of the RNZYS to attend. No members of the RNZYS took the time to attend the presentation.

This meeting was organised by the Marine Farm Action Committee (Kaiaua Citizen's and Ratepayers and Protect Peach Cove.

Further information on Don Staniford can be found at www.protectpeachcove.com or https://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org



site designed by axys © 2003 option4. All rights reserved.