28 Apr 2011

King Salmon seeks fast track for big expansion

7:13 pm on 28 April 2011

New Zealand King Salmon is seeking to fast-track expansion of its Marlborough Sounds farms by applying to the Environmental Protection Authority instead of the local council for approval.

The company's chief executive, Grant Rosewarne, says they'll seek consents for eight new salmon farms from the EPA because it's quicker that way.

He says the process takes a guaranteed nine months, instead of up to five years through the traditional resource management consent route.

Opponents say an EPA hearing will deny the local community a chance to be properly heard.

The company currently has five hectares of water in which to farm salmon; it is applying to use another 10.

If approved, the company would increase production from 7500 tonnes of salmon a year to 15,000 by 2015.

King Salmon says the expansion would create 70 jobs in Marlborough.