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The Social and Community Effects of Salmon Farming and Rearing

NZIER report on the economic contribution of marine farming in the Marlborough region

Provision of ecological and ecosystem services by mussel farming in the Marlborough Sounds

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

THE BLUE MUSSEL PROJECT: Research into a solution to the oversettlement of blue mussels.
90 MILE BEACH PROJECT: Research to assess the quality and viability of spat before it leaves Kaitaia.
MARINE FARM COMPLIANCE: Marine farm compliance audit partnership programme
Marine Farm Compliance Audit Program

The MDC enforces its regulatory obligations in respect of marine farm lights and other matters by undertaking random audits of marine farm sites in the Marlborough Sounds. These audits are based on the lighting plans attached to the relevant site resource consent. Although many marine farmers have their own lighting audit/checking system in place the level of non- compliance is unacceptable to Council.

Council representatives and industry members have met and agreed that 100% compliance is not possible to achieve for a number of reasons (mechanical mal function/failure, theft, battery recharge etc). There is no agreed system or process in place to allow for a margin of navigational aid failure (as is permitted in other categories of navigational aids) and the objective of this project is to create a marine farm compliance and audit process that is agreed by both marine farmers and the harbourmaster.

Parties to the Project | The relationships between parties involved in the Partnership are shown below

Description of Approved Process

  • Marine farmers shall at their discretion join an approved Lights Scheme
  • Marine farmers that have joined an approved scheme will be required to inspect and submit at least quarterly inspection.
  • reports for each marine farm site, the inspection and report includes all items listed in the Quarterly Inspection Report.
  • Non-compliances found during inspections are to be reported to the Harbourmaster by the scheme manager.
  • Marine Farmers will advise scheme managers of actions that will be undertaken to remedy the problem and a timeframe within which the work will be completed.
  • Non-returns will prompt an email reminder by the scheme manager with a timeframe to complete the return. If no further return is received (2nd time) the Harbourmaster will be advised and will inspect the farm at the consent owners cost.
  • Quarterly inspection summaries are provided electronically to the Harbourmaster by the approved Scheme Manager.
  • These results are entered into a lights Summary record system and retained by the Harbourmaster.
  • The Approved Light Scheme Manager will undertake 6 monthly random audits comprising at least 10% of the farms in its Scheme and report the results to the Harbourmaster.
  • Initially the Harbourmaster will carry out random audits on at least 200 farms per year.
  • Farmers who are in an Approved Scheme will be given a written warning when a non- compliance is identified through the Harbourmasters audit. This warning will advise the site owner of the non-compliance and the action required to remedy the situation. If the non-compliance is not rectified in the timeframe specified a fine may be issued.
  • Farmers that choose not to be part of the scheme are excluded from this process.
  • Any party can opt out of the scheme at any time.

Flow chart of the programme

Approved Scheme Managers

  • Marine Farming Association
  • Sanford South Island

How to Join and cost |  To join the MFA’s Marine Farm Compliance Audit Scheme you must firstly be a member of the Marine Farming Association (for membership details see he FAQ page). Contact the Marine Farming Association and register for the programme, our contact details are on the bottom of this page. The cost for the MFA’s programme is $25+GST per site per year.


Marine Farm Compliance Audit Declaration

Marine Farm Compliance Audit Process


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