In 2012, the Government adopted an aquaculture strategy and 5-year action plan to guide sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector.

Aquaculture strategy

The Government's Aquaculture strategy and five-year action plan supports sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry – balancing our economic, social, cultural and ecological values.

Through the strategy and action plan the Government will:

  • work with councils and the public to plan for sustainable aquaculture growth
  • ensure the laws and processes for setting up and operating aquaculture farms are effective, responsive, and enable investment
  • deliver on the Crown's aquaculture settlement obligations to Māori
  • identify opportunities for improving Māori wellbeing through aquaculture
  • build our knowledge of aquaculture's environmental effects and ensure a healthy aquatic environment
  • maintain and build our animal health and welfare, food safety, and biosecurity standards
  • encourage investment and innovation
  • facilitate discussion between industry, government, Māori, and the public about how aquaculture should grow and be managed.

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Proposed national environmental standard

An important part of the aquaculture strategy is the development of a nationally-consistent framework under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to manage existing marine aquaculture. 

Last year, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) consulted on a proposed national environmental standard (NES) for marine aquaculture.

An NES is established under the RMA and sets national rules that replace regional council rules. The NES: Marine aquaculture:

  • proposes changes to the re-consenting process for existing marine farms
  • would require all marine farms (existing and new) to have a biosecurity management plan.

Consultation closed at 5pm on Tuesday 8 August 2017.

Action plan to guide sustainable growth

The action plan supports the aquaculture strategy, setting out how the Government will support sustainable growth. Government roles are organised under 7 objectives.

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