A proposed mussel farm near Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula is a threat to the environment’s ecology says an environmentalist who is opposed to its development.
The northern flank of Mercury Bay is a “national treasure,” according to Andrew Barber of the Whauwhau Environmental Group.
“I feel very protective of it,” he says.
His concern is a proposed mussel spat farm that would occupy the equivalent of thirty rugby fields.
“Commercialising this bay, other than tourism, just seems ridiculous,” he says.
The farm if approved would be the first in an open water setting on Coromandel’s East Coast.
“If we allow one to go ahead, that sets a precedent, that sets a terrible precedent that will end the untouched nature of the East Coast of the Coromandel,” says Mr Barber.
“It’s no-one’s backyard, it’s everyone’s backyard,” he says.
The coastline where the farm would appear is currently used to regenerate native forest.