Take action Take a stand against factory fish farming

Take a stand against factory fish farming

Marine farms – or fish farms – are known as the factory farms of the sea.  

Fishes are recognised as sentient beings but are one of the most widely mistreated animals in New Zealand. Farmed fishes suffer a lifetime of misery in overcrowded sea cages, often dying en mass due to poor farming conditions. Despite this suffering, the Government is proposing new legislation which would further threaten the lives and welfare of fishes trapped in factory farms at sea.  

In its simplest terms, this proposed legislation would enable all 1,200 marine farms currently operating in New Zealand to continue for an additional 20 years without assessing the impacts on fishes or the environment.  

This Bill would signal a significant blow to farmed fishes already impacted by: 

  • Overcrowding  
  • Poor water quality  
  • Parasites and diseases  
  • High mortality rates  
  • Heat stress  
  • Bone deformities 
  • Inability to escape dangers  
  • Becoming stressed and depressed

This Bill is being rushed through under “urgency” but we cannot let it pass unchallenged. SAFE will be lodging a submission opposing the Bill and we urge you to join us.  

See below for information on how to oppose the Marine Farm Extension Bill with our easy-to-use submission template. But you’ll need to be quick! Submissions are open until 11:59pm, Sunday 16 June 2024

Join us in opposing the Marine Farm Extension Bill and advocating for a future where all fishes can thrive in their natural environment.  


Click here to make your submission


Key points you can use in your submission:

We encourage you to personalise your submission and let the Primary Production Committee know why this Bill should not be passed.

I strongly oppose the Resource Management (Extended Duration of Coastal Permits for Marine Farms) Amendment Bill due to its potential for significantly negative impacts on fishes.

Farmed fishes in New Zealand are confined in overcrowded and waste-ridden water. They suffer from bone deformities and skin lesions, are subjected to extreme heat stress, and die in mass mortality events every year. 

This Bill undermines the intention of the Animal Welfare Act (1999) which recognises fishes as sentient beings. Fishes in marine farms are prevented from displaying their natural behaviours, and marine farms simply cannot meet the basic welfare needs of fishes.

This Bill undermines the crucial process of monitoring and assessment for marine based activities which must adapt and innovate, rather than be locked into decades-old practices.

I am appalled that this Bill removes the requirement for community input on marine consents. This blatantly disregards Aotearoa’s democratic values and removes a key mechanism for mana whenua to safeguard taonga and exercise kaitiakitanga.

In addition to the negative impacts on fishes, extending blanket consents to all existing marine farms without periodic review would risk significant and possibly irreversible environmental damage, including nutrient pollution, biodiversity loss, and the release of hazardous chemicals.

Ensuring robust standards of animal and environmental protection should be absolute bottom-lines when considering the farming of any animal. This Bill is dangerous and irresponsible.

I urge you to reject the Resource Management (Extended Duration of Coastal Permits for Marine Farms) Amendment Bill and uphold the values that make Aotearoa a beacon of democracy and environmental stewardship.


Copy and paste any of the points above into your submission, or write your own. Please ensure you select that you are submitting as ‘an individual’.


Click here to make your submission

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As a charity, SAFE is reliant on the support of caring people like you to carry out our valuable work. Every gift goes towards providing education, undertaking research and campaigning for the benefit of all animals. SAFE is a registered charity in New Zealand (CC 40428). Contributions of $5 or more are tax-deductible.