The Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Act 2017 came into effect on 4 December 2017, making changes to the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995, Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 and the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994.  Key changes include:

  • Formally transferring environmental regulation functions over finfish farms to the EPA Director
  • Introducing a new Environmental Licence for finfish farming operations, and making such activities “Level 2 activities” to be assessed by the EPA.
    • For inland finfish farm facilities and related activities, applications must be assessed by the EPA Board (and subject to public consultation and appeal rights)
    • For marine based finfish farming, the EPA Director will determine whether referral to the EPA Board is required
  • Introducing marine farm exclusion zones and declaring an initial zone over Mercury Passage (excluding the existing Okehampton Bay lease)

For an overview of the new laws, click here.