The Ministry of Fisheries has approved 850 hectares of new marine farming areas in Golden Bay and Tasman Bay
Aquaculture companies already have applications in with the Tasman District Council for the newly allocated farm space.
Ministry spokesman Russell Burnard says a further 1150 hectares is available for approval as interim Aquaculture Management Areas, if marine farmers can come to an arrangement with commercial scallop fishers.
Marine Farmers Association President Rob Pooley said the announcement is welcome, though celebrations are muted because it has taken so long.
It is the first new marine farm space granted under new aquaculture laws.