12 Aug 2011

Maori interest in finfish farming

11:11 am on 12 August 2011

A Maori mussel farm owner in Hauraki says Maori are likely to take to finfish farming even though, he says, the species will be significantly smaller than those in the wild.

The Government has proposed changing the the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill to allow for a trial of finfish farming in the Hauraki Gulf, which it says is suitable for raising hapuka or kingfish in sea cages.

A mussel farmer from the area, Harry Mikaere, says the size of caged hapuka would be far different to those in a natural environment.

He says the average weight of the fish would vary between 3 and 5.5 kilograms and they would be bred to meet a specific market demand.

Mr Mikaere says all of these issues need to be taken into account for the commercial side of the operation.

But he says iwi are likely to move into finfish farming because it is an extension to cultivating shellfish.

The Government's proposed changes to the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill also includes giving tribes more flexibility to negotiate claims