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A Race for Marine Space: Science, Values, and Aquaculture Planning in New Zealand

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New Zealand (NZ) has developed a coastal management framework that includes large watersheds and territorial waters (out to 12 nautical miles). The article describes the developing conflicts associated with the biophysical and epistemological dimensions of expanding coastal marine space for aquaculture. We first review aquaculture policy in NZ, and recent evidence of the biophysical impacts from increasing terrestrial inputs on marine ecosystems. We provide a case study of conflict over a recent proposal to expand salmon aquaculture in the Marlborough Sounds, which covers some 4,000┬ákm2 of sounds, islands, and peninsulas. Based on information and data from interviews of stakeholders involved in the aquaculture planning, we describe three diverse epistemologies of science—client-based science, civic science, and Māori traditional ecological knowledge. We conclude the article with a critical review of how to better resolve spatial conflicts that often emerge in coastal management and planning.

Keywords: New Zealand; agriculture; aquaculture; conflicts; epistemology; marine spatial planning; science; values; watershed management

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of International Policy and Management, Center for the Blue Economy, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California, USA 2: Environmental Studies Department, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

Publication date: September 3, 2013

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