Boats, Fiordland, Environment

Consultation begins on commercial activities impacting Fiordland’s waters

Photography by: Getty Images


Environment Southland has begun consultation on a proposed plan change to the Regional Coastal Plan, which will see temporary new measures put in place on commercial surface water activities in Fiordland

Increasing pressure these activities have on the area were raised with Environment Southland. In response, the council commissioned a report into the impact that commercial activities were having on the area.

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The report highlighted the impacts that increasing commercial surface water activity is having on Ata Whenua Fiordland and the risks that exist if no action is taken to relieve the pressure the area is currently facing.

The report identified a number of things impacting the nature and wilderness, as well as the overall experience in the area. These include seeing other boats, more boats present in the more remote fiords and staying for longer, increased use of aircraft for access to boats, crowding on moorings and anchorages, and a potential loss of boatie etiquette on the water.

Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell says the Fiordland Coastal Marine Area is a particularly special place.

"The report reinforced the need for Council to take action now ahead of the full Regional Coastal Plan review. This proposed plan change will put in place temporary measures to control increases in commercial surface water activities and strengthen the protections for the area and the wildlife."

The changes will restrict the granting of new or additional consents in the area.

The plan change, which is in the initial stages of consultation with stakeholders and consent holders until late April, will be available for public consultation mid-year.

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