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Friday, July 23, 2010

Frozen fish farms freed

I've a friend who's a diver on a salmon farm, who won't eat the fish he works amongst because of the dyes in the feed given to the fish.
Fish farming, where salmon are the major species involved, has been kept from expanding around our coasts by a 'freeze' since 2001.
That's all changed now, as this government opens the gates to dozens of applications for new aquaculture developments.
Aquaculture New Zealand sees a tripling in the size of the industry and billion$ in profit for it's aqua farmers.
Like dairying on the land, fish farming is set to spread like an oil spill.
In both cases, it's the waste that causes the environmental harm that both industries and the government are more than willing to look past it without flinching.
The public, curiously enough, have some concerns around the loss of access to bays and coastline that they've enjoyed recreationally, that the spread of fish farming will bring.
They might also have reservations about eating captively-raised fish, if they were better informed as to the practices around fish farming.
That debate should intensify as of now.


Anonymous said...

The deal should be that for every new fish farm they must put an area into marine reserve equal to the size of the impact the potential fish farm will have (and back date it for the existing ones). That way most of NZ will be in marine reserve very quickly.

robertguyton said...

Bio - I'll foward you the Minister for Aquaculture's email and you can put it to him personally.
Hard to assess the potential impact of a fish farm. Some of the footage I've seen, showing the toxic dross and detritus that forms under the cages is not very encouraging. Of concern to me also is the source of the feed that is used. Is that made from other fish? Land animals? Is it dressed with antibiotic?
I'll ask my diving mate.