Industry Overview

Farm Consent Process

The Resource Management Act (RMA) 1991 contains a framework for sustainable environmental management.  All marine farm consents in New Zealand are currently established under the RMA, which requires marine farms to be located within an Aquaculture Management Area (AMA). AMA's provide a planned, controlled approach to the allocation of water space for aquaculture.

The responsibility for ensuring compliance with the RMA falls with regional councils who are responsible for deciding what locations and species are appropriate for aquaculture in their coastal marine areas – the zone between the line of the highest tide water mark and the 12 nautical mile limit.   Consent conditions associated with the permits are set by Regional Councils to ensure a 'no more than acceptable' level of ecological impact occurs due to aquaculture related activities.  Councils are required to monitor compliance with these conditions on a regular basis and ensure all aquaculture practices are being carried out in a sustainable manner.