Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mussel farm's fate depends on study of Hector's dolphin

Final approval for one of the largest mussel farms in New Zealand, to be built at Clifford Bay south of Blenheim, will depend on a study of Hector's dolphins there.

The Minister of Conservation has approved the application from Clifford Bay Marine Farms, but the go ahead is conditional on the outcome of a three year survey of the dolphins that live in the bay.

The survey will be funded by the developers and will look at whether the area is a breeding ground, nursery or zone of real importance for the dolphins.

Associate conservation minister Mahara Okeroa says he accepts the view of the Environment Court that there is a low risk of the farm causing harm.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"