20 Feb 2015

Proposal to farm Bluff Oysters in Otago Harbour

9:19 am on 20 February 2015

A Dunedin aquaculture company has relaunched a proposal to farm Bluff Oysters in the Otago Harbour.

Managing director of Southern Clams Roger Belton

Managing director of Southern Clams Roger Belton Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Southern Clams, which harvests and exports cockles, announced plans two years ago to diversify its shellfish operations by using the certified growing waters of Otago Harbour to farm oysters.

It involves taking two-year-old oysters raised in Bluff Harbour and placing them in Otago Harbour for up to four weeks until they are ready for market.

The oysters can not be sold in the shell directly from Bluff Harbour because the water quality does not comply with food safety standards.

Managing director of Southern Clams Roger Belton said it will finally be able to submit its consent application to the Otago Regional.

"It's been on hold till we've completed our consultation with other stakeholders in the harbour, that includes both recreational and customary stakeholders and it's been a fairly long process, but we have modified the application, the consent we're seeking in the light of those concerns that have been raised.

"We have relaunched the same application effectively and we're now going to a notify consent process."

Mr Belton said submissions on the oyster farming proposal would close in a month , and he hoped there would be a consent hearing in April.

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