Research Projects

One Ocean NZ

 

Promoting the stewardship of a healthy and productive ocean

OneOceanNZ aims to contribute to a wider discussion on how we might best manage our oceans, and exercise stewardship in order to maintain a healthy and productive ocean. We will continue to look at public policy solutions around ocean governance, as it is an important long-term issue for Aotearoa New Zealand.

The combination of climate change and global tensions is putting pressure on companies to move from a global efficiency business model to a national self-sufficient business model. For the salmon industry, for instance, that is likely to mean land-based farms located close to water, either using saltwater or freshwater. Open ocean farming is very expensive and risky. Risks include impacts of rogue waves and storms on infrastructure, impacts on wildlife (such as entangled marine mammals) and the potential negative impact of ocean farming on a company’s social licence to operate.

Currently, the Institute has a particular focus on conservation efforts in the Cook Strait and Marlborough Sounds regions, due to an ongoing case study of New Zealand King Salmon’s (NZKS) Blue Endeavour application. As a part of this case study, the Institute has developed a series of infographics designed to be read in conjunction with one another, highlighting key information about NZKS’s salmon farming, the biodiversity and existing conservation efforts in the area, as well as around Aotearoa New Zealand generally.

For more information on the current and past legal decisions, previous research by the Institute on aquaculture and copies of active NZKS resource consents, see our page Salmon farming.

Latest publication

Discussion Paper 2023/04 – Exploring the role of aquaculture in our marine space

Visit Discussion papers

The Institute is interested in using infographics to illustrate complex issues. This discussion paper aims to conceptualise the scale and significance of aquaculture management from a range of different perspectives – such as science, climate risks and biodiversity. This paper focuses specifically on New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) and the Cook Strait region as a case study.

Recommendations (as at 19 June 2023)

Marlborough District Council (MDC)

1. Remove all salmon farms that expire in 2024 from Queen Charlotte Sound and the three failed salmon farms from Pelorus Sound so they can revert over time to a clean and natural environment, with remediation where necessary.
This aligns with the 20-year extension coming to an end (allowed under s 10 (8) of the Aquaculture Reform (Repeals and Transitional Provisions) Act 2004 (ARA). It seems timely to tidy up all the old consents and start afresh (i.e. NZKS should not apply to extend old applications with old compliance standards but should apply for new farms, with new consents). See Infographic 4, Table 1.

2. Review existing, aged controls on farms to reassess their fitness for purpose based on more modern understandings of the marine environment, as older farms tend to have lower compliance. Build compliance capability and train marine compliance officers specialised in marine management. 

3. Lead a citizen-scientist reporting mechanism with DOC and NGOs, where the community shares sightings of nationally critical, nationally endangered and nationally vulnerable seabirds, marine mammals and sharks. 

Ministry for Primary Industries

4. Help develop a salmon feed industry in New Zealand.

5. Invest in and support land-based farming in preference to ocean farming where possible. In all cases, independently assess environmental risks, costs and benefits.

Minister for Oceans and Fisheries

6. Require all grandfathered marine farms, that are active solely due to s10 of the Aquaculture Reform (Repeals and Transitional Provisions) Act 2004 to be reapplied for, not extended. See year of approval in Infographic 4, Table 1.

7. Make Queen Charlotte Sound a marine mammal sanctuary (Type 3 of the Marine Protection Area network) in 2024 (when NZKS farm consents expire, see Infographic 4). Internal waterways are important due to their role in breeding and feeding fish, marine mammals and seabirds – they are the kindergarten of the sea. There is at least one pod of Hector’s dolphins that live in Queen Charlotte Sound, and provided commercial and recreational set net fishing is prohibited, marine mammals gain some form of protection.

8. Develop a coastal occupancy charge or resource rent tax regime (as in Norway) for all marine farmers. See Infographic 7.

9. Review the success of the 2008 Marine Protected Areas: Classification, Protection Standard and Implementation Guidelines. How could they be improved? See Infographic 3.

10. Revisit the Marine Reserves Bill. Progress has stalled. See Infographic 7.

11. Develop a strategy for meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity requirements – protection of 30% of internal waters and 30% of our territorial sea by 2030 (less than seven years away). See Infographic 2. 

Department of Conservation and Ministry for the Environment

12. Research into marine baseline data of flora and fauna is beyond the current funding model of councils (e.g. MDC and Cook Strait). This could be funded from a national coastal charge or resource rent tax regime, providing funds either directly for councils or to DOC/MfE to undertake research, see 7 above). Species need to be understood in terms of their temperature limits, and how the loss of some species might impact the wider ecosystem. Megafauna and seabirds are critically important, particularly given our global responsibility as one of the seabird and marine mammal capitals of the world. Cook Strait is much more special and unique than we originally thought.

13. MDC should be required to send compliance reports on ocean and internal salmon farming to DOC as well as MPI.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) 

14. Provide public access to a detailed map that clearly delineates internal waters from territorial waters, identifying both boundaries and spatial areas. See Infographic 2.

The combination of climate change and global tensions is putting pressure on companies to move from a global efficiency business model to a national self-sufficient business model. For the salmon industry that is likely to mean land-based farms located close to water, either using saltwater or freshwater. Open ocean farming is very expensive and risky. Risks include impacts of rogue waves and storms on infrastructure, impacts on wildlife (such as entangled marine mammals) and the potential negative impact of ocean farming on a company’s social licence to operate.

Assorted publications

See a selection of our latest research and publications related to OneOceanNZ below.

Discussion Paper 2022/02 – New Zealand King Salmon Case Study: A financial reporting perspective

Working Paper 2022/10 – New Zealand King Salmon key documents 2012–2022

Working Paper 2022/15 – Reviewing Voluntary Reporting Frameworks Mentioned in 2018–2021 Annual Reports from NZSX-listed companies

Working Paper 2022/14 – Reviewing TCFD information in 2017–2021 reports of NZSX-listed companies