Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry has "given provisional approval" for silver and grass carp to be farmed at Taupo.
(This story has been amended and updated. It should be noted that no "final approval" has been given from the Minister of Conservation)
This has been met with significant opposition from members of the angling community, who sight the 'intensely invasive' fish as a threat to New Zealand's waterways and bio security.
In response to this, a spokesman for Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry has today released a statement that offers some clarification over the decision.
“The Minister has given provisional approval for carp to be transported to the proposed farm, under her statutory responsibility: however, the approval deed still needs to be signed and details, including cost recovery for breach of approval conditions, are being worked out between DOC and Golden Harvest Aquaculture. In addition, the farm would require a fish farm licence, which would be considered by the Ministry for Primary Industries, and would then be required to go through the resource consent process. Decisions such as this are only made when they are based on the best quality, proven scientific advice available, and as Minister of Conservation, Ms Barry takes a particular interest in the importance of the ongoing health of the Lake Taupo/Waikato River fresh water angling and fishery.”
The proposed carp farm would be sited on Rakanui Road, in an industrial zone about 6km away from the Taupō township, and 2.5km away from the Waikato River. It will primarily raise Grass Carp (95% of annual production) with the remaining 5% of Silver Carp used to control algae.
The primary function of the farm is to supply Auckland restaurants, however there is a future plan to turn the farm into a tourist attraction. “In the near future, we hope to be able to offer a tourism experience at the farm,” says Golden Harvest Aquaculture general manager Richard Clarke.
In reply to negative public feedback over the the proposed farm Mr Clarke says, “We have looked at impacts on the NZ ecosystem, potential impacts and risks of the carp reproducing in NZ river systems, and provided all this research to MPI and DOC as part of our consenting and licencing process,”.
As mentioned in the statement from Hon Maggie Barry's office, the carp farm has by no means been given 'final approval'. This is an ongoing process that certainly requires public debate. Please go through and read some of the information linked below and continue to have your say in the comments section.
Please have your say in the comment section below
For more information on silver carp check out these links;