The Environment Court has refused to renew mussel-farming rights at three sites at Port Gore in the outer Marlborough Sounds.
Sanford managing director Ted Culley said this was the first time he knew of existing marine farming permits being declined.
"As a significant aquaculturist in the Marlborough Sounds, this gives Sanford concerns as to what might happen in the future," Mr Culley said. The company was taking advice on whether to appeal the decision in the High Court.
Sanford owns two of the affected farms and Port Gore Marine Farms (PGMF) the third.
In court, Sanford argued that its two affected farms produced 600 tonnes of mussels in a year, which represented 12 jobs.
Fantastic news today. The Environment Court has agreed with our appeal against the renewing of Port Gore (outer Marlborough Sounds) mussel farm consents. The mussel farms were old anomalies in an area that the Marlborough District Council agreed with us years ago should be prohibited to the industrialisation of marine farming due to its natural and wild character. Industry including the foreign dominated NZ King Salmon company and government has been wanting to expand into the area. This EC decision will send a very clear message to them that their intentions are wrong and have little chance of success. We must be able to preserve the character of our wild places. Celebration time.I asked him how many jobs were lost as a result - I hadn't actually read the media story - and it went like this:
Him: The benefits to tourism and environmental and human well being will easily counter the degradation and injustice that was going on in that area.Yep, he didn't even know the name of the company. And jobs lost, but that's okay because it's unsustainable stuffed wild fishery so who cares.
Me: So people who operated a mussel farm (existing jobs there) applied to extend their consent and keep their business going, which was refused (therefore no more farm), but no jobs were lost as a result? Am I missing something?
Him: Sandfords being the main company involved will not notice as they pick up product from new farms in the area actually designated for marine farming, albeit the new farms will be adding to the cumulative effect of excess mussel farms sucking on the food chain there. A stuffed wild fishery Nick or temporary / now jobs, or a sustainable fishery and environment that can be used as a positive marketing device for genuinely sustainable product.
Those 12 workers do, Steffan. And so do their families.