Dropping caged oysters into the middle of the lower Otago
Harbour is akin to planting tulips in the centre of Logan Park,
Yachting New Zealand says.
Commenting on a proposal announced this week by Southern
Clams and New Zealand Bluff Oyster Company, to finish off
Bluff oysters in the lower harbour so they could be sold
live, in the shell, Yachting New Zealand regional support
officer Otago Graeme Wall said the proposed deep-water
resting area, AAA2, was in the middle of the best
yacht-racing area in the harbour.
''It's in the middle of Dunedin city's aquatic playing field.
It is prime real estate for the recreational sailor.''
Acknowledging the project was in its early days and he was
still to see the full proposal, Mr Wall, a life member of
Port Chalmers Yacht Club, said it would be a concern if the
two proposed areas AAA1 and AAA2, but especially AAA2, were
to be used for the venture.
AAA2 would ''essentially impact on the viability of setting
yacht race courses'' in the Portobello Bay area, an area that
was used during summer and winter for racing.
''These areas are used by yachties from around the harbour,
not just locally from Port Chalmers.''
Last January, it was used for the Sunburst national
championships hosted and run by the Port Chalmers Yacht Club.
While Yachting New Zealand and the Port Chalmers club were
not against commercial activity in the harbour, the yachting
community was a strong advocate for the maintenance of free,
safe, navigable open waters for all to enjoy, Mr Wall said.
''Any restrictions upon our already limited open sailing
waters within the harbour would have deleterious implications
for yachting on the Otago Harbour.''
Otago Harbour was a great recreational asset to the city and
the value of this for the lifestyle
Dunedin could offer should not be lost, Mr Wall said.
Southern Clams managing director Roger Belton said it was a
reasonable concern for the yachties to have as there was not
enough deep water in the harbour.
He admitted the company was making a ''fairly big ask'' in
wanting to put the oysters at AAA2.
''We definitely need to have a serious conversation about
Mr Belton plans six months of consultation with harbour