New legislation relating to aquaculture and commercial fishing is to be introduced from 1 October 2011.
The reforms make changes to the Aquaculture Reform (Repeals and Transitional Provisions) Act 2004, the Fisheries Act 1996, the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004, and the Resource Management Act 1991. These legislative reforms provide a framework for the aquaculture industry. At the same time, the law maintains essential protections for the environment and balances aquaculture with other uses of the coastal space. The reforms make the following changes to the legislative framework for aquaculture:
- Amends the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to streamline aquaculture planning and consenting, including removing the requirement for aquaculture management areas (AMAs) to be established before consent applications can be made.
- Amends the Aquaculture Reform (Repeals and Transitional Provisions) Act 2004 to bring existing marine farmers and applicants into the new law, and provide for the AMA in Waikato and an interim AMA in Tasman to be completed.
- Amends the Tasman Regional Coastal Plan to allow applications to be made to farm a wider range of species, including finfish.
- Amends the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan to:
- allow applications to be made to farm a wider range of species, including finfish
- allow applications to be made for small extensions to existing farms
- establish the Coromandel Marine Farming Zone, within which applications can be made to farm finfish species.
- Amends the Fisheries Act 1996 to streamline the undue adverse effects on fishing (UAE) test, better integrate the UAE test with consent processes, and balance the interests of commercial quota holders with those of aquaculture.
- Amends the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 to enable the settlement to be delivered on a regional basis, through agreements between the Crown and iwi.
For more details of the changes go to the aquaculture reform section of the Ministry of Fisheries website.