Marlborough salmon relocation

Closing Date:

Contact: Aquaculture unit


Update – 14 March 2017


Following review, some minor errors and inconsistencies were identified in the consultation document and the Summary assessment of  environmental effects (AEE) document.  

The errata provide corrections for the areas (shown as hectares) of an existing farm and potential relocation sites.

All technical reports' findings (AEE reports) remain valid as they were based on the correct figures. These errors do not have an impact on the rest of the AEE and consultation document.

Full details are in the errata documents:

Have your say

The Minister for Primary Industries wants to hear your views on a proposal to amend the Marlborough Sounds resource management plan to enable relocation of up to 6 salmon farms.

Relocation is being considered as a way to:

  • ensure the environmental outcomes from salmon farming are improved through implementation of benthic (seabed) best management practice 
  • potentially improve the social and cultural outcomes from salmon farming by creating jobs
  • move salmon farms away from areas of high-competing use
  • maintain or increase the economic benefits from salmon farming.

This proposal provides for industry growth through more efficient use of marine farming space, rather than from creating additional new space. In short, it’s about getting better outcomes from the same amount of space. The extent of benefits would depend on the number of farms relocated and the sites they move to, which is why the Minister wants to hear your views.

Consultation is open from 26 January 2017 until 27 March 2017. Public drop-ins will be held during the consultation period.

Consultation documents

Related documents

Background to the proposal

It's important to the Government, iwi, the public, and the aquaculture industry that the effects of salmon farming on the marine environment are managed well. A key step was developing the Best management practice guidelines for salmon farming in the Marlborough Sounds: Benthic environmental quality standards and monitoring protocol (benthic guidelines).

The guidelines provide a framework, endorsed by the community, science experts and industry leaders, to ensure effective monitoring and management of the effects of salmon farming on the seabed. The Marlborough District Council, the Ministry for Primary Industries, and NZ King Salmon are committed to implementing the benthic guidelines at all of NZ King Salmon's farms.

Download the benthic best practice guidelines [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Six of 11 farms identified for relocation

NZ King Salmon has resource consents for 11 salmon farms within the Marlborough Sounds. There are 6 consented salmon farms in lower-flow areas, and these will have difficulty complying with the guidelines without significantly reducing production. The Minister proposes relocating some or all of the 6 farms.

The potential relocation of these farms to sites where the water is deeper and has higher flows would provide for a more sustainable, productive, and resilient industry without increasing the total amount of surface space occupied by salmon farm structures.

Salmon farms to be considered for relocation

Tōtaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound:

  • Ruakaka Bay
  • Otanerau

Te Hoiere/Pelorus Sound:

  • Forsyth Bay
  • Waihinau Bay
  • Crail Bay (2 farms). The Crail Bay sites have not been stocked since 2011.

Potential salmon farm relocation sites

Te Hoiere/Pelorus Sound:

  • Blowhole Point North
  • Blowhole Point South
  • Waitata Mid-Channel
  • Horseshoe Bay
  • Richmond Bay South

Kura Te Au/Tory Channel:

  • Tio Point

Map 1 – Existing & Potential Relocation Site Te Hōiere/Pelorus Sound [PDF, 5.7 MB]
Map 2 – Existing & Potential Relocation Site, Tōtaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound [PDF, 5.9 MB]

Find out more

Public drop-ins

Drop-in meetings will be held during the consultation. Each session starts at noon and finishes at 7pm unless otherwise stated:

Date City Venue
Tue 14 February Havelock Slip Inn
Havelock Marina
Havelock 7100
Wed 15 February Blenheim

Scenic Hotel Marlborough - Marlborough Room
65 Alfred Street
Blenheim 7201

Mon 20 February Picton

Waikawa Boat Club
42 Beach Road
Waikawa 7220

Thu 23 February
3pm – 6pm


Trailways Hotel
66 Trafalgar Street

Thu 2 March
2pm – 6pm

The Portage Hotel
2923 Kenepuru Road
Portage 7282

Fri 3 March
1:30pm – 4pm
Marlborough Sounds

Waitaria Bay Hall
5732 Kenepuru Road
Marlborough Sounds

Making your written comments

Email your feedback on the consultation document by no later than 5pm on 27 March 2017 to or you can also post your written comments to:

Salmon Farm Relocation
Ministry for Primary Industries
Private Bag 14
Port Nelson 7042
New Zealand.

Make sure you include in your written comments:

  • the title of the consultation document in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title (if applicable)
  • your organisation's name (if applicable)
  • your contact details (such as phone number, address, and email)
  • indicate whether you would like to speak to the Marlborough Salmon Farm Relocation Advisory Panel at hearings to be held in April.

Next steps

After the consultation period closes, the Marlborough Salmon Farm Relocation Advisory Panel will hold hearings in April. This panel will be made up of 3 resource management experts. The hearings will allow people to speak to their written comments.

If you would like to attend a hearing and meet with the panel, let us know as part of your written comments. Once we receive your written comments and your request to meet with the panel, we will tell you the date, time and location.

The panel will provide a report and recommendations to the Minister for Primary Industries on the comments received through this consultation process on the proposed regulations.

Marlborough Salmon Farm Relocation Advisory Panel [PDF, 306 KB]

Advisory Panel's Terms of Reference [PDF, 269 KB]

Information for the public wishing to make comment [PDF, 108 KB]

Written comments are public information

Any written comments you make becomes public information. Anyone can ask for copies of all written comments under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the information available unless we have a good reason for withholding it. You can find those grounds in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA. Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your written comment. Reasons might include, it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require the information be released.

Questions and answers

Find out more

Technical Reports – Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEEs)


Landscape values

Benthic (seabed)

Social values, noise

Cultural values

Economic values

Marine mammals

Pelagic fish, underwater lighting


Tourism and Recreation




Water quality, discharges (greywater, copper and zinc)




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