Mercury Bay spat farm gets green light by commissioners

A proposal for a spat farm in Mercury Bay has been given the green light by independent commissioners.

The commissioners’ decision to grant a resource consent for 20 years was released yesterday. It was made following five days of hearings in December last year. A consent term of 35 years had been sought.

The decision imposes 104 conditions that address various matters, including best practice management, structures, noise, lighting, biosecurity, effects on currents and waves, marine mammals and seabirds.

The commissioners were satisfied that the proposal could be “advanced in a manner that is appropriate to the coastal environs that it will exist within”.

The application to establish the spat catching farm at Whauwhau, in outer Mercury Bay, was lodged by Coromandel aquaculture industry businessman Peter Bull and Joe Davis (on behalf of Ngāti Hei) in February last year.

Spat farming involves free-swimming larvae (baby mussels) attaching themselves to spat catching ropes. The ropes are then transferred to a mussel farm for the mussels to continue growing.

spat

The proposed spat farm, which would be located about 1.6 kilometres offshore, comprises three blocks of spat catching infrastructure consisting of backbone lines, floats, anchors and dropper lines. Each block will be approximately 10 hectares in area – about 30 hectares in total.

The application attracted 204 submissions – 195 in opposition, 5 in support and 4 neutral.

Key concerns included that the spat farm would affect the landscape, natural character and visual amenity values of Mercury Bay and impact negatively on marine life.

The commissioners heard from relevant experts in all matters and carefully considered the evidence to guide their decision making.

Submitters have 15 days from which the decision was received to lodge an appeal.

Waikato Regional Council Seeks $60M Funding For Kauri Dieback, Goat Control, Clean Streams, Harbour Plans in Thames Coromandel Hauraki and Elsewhere

Waikato Regional Council has submitted a bid to central govt for environmental projects that would benefit from govt stimulus package.

Total cost: $96M  Total funds requested: $59M.  Total employment: 273+ Full Time Equivalent Jobs (FTE’s)Read More »

Regional Coastal Plan. Thames Coromandel Drop-In Sessions Near You

Waikato Regional Council is reviewing the Regional Coastal Plan and is keen to capture your views and feedback. This plan sets out the rules for activities in the coastal marine area – that’s the ‘wet’ area of the coast below the high tide mark and extending out to the 12 nautical mile limit (approximately 20km).

Check out the issues which have been identified for review in a handy PDF document here. What are your views? What has been missed?

Read More »

Finally Some Action on Thames/Coast Coastal Hazards

Over 20 years ago when Moanataiari severely flooded in the 1990’s we all knew that coastal flooding was a serious issue for Thames/Coast.  Three years ago, after discovering Thames was one of the most at risk towns/cities in New Zealand from sea level rise and coastal flooding, I started pressuring TCDC to take urgent action.  For ages it seemed no one took these threats seriously.  The January 2018 storm surge was a huge wake up call.Read More »