Marine Farms    

A number of areas of water around Tasman and Golden Bay are set aside for marine farming. This page outlines general guidelines and specific marks and locations.

General Guidelines    

  • Boaties are discouraged from navigating through these farmed areas as hazards include floating, sub-surface, and sunken lines and structures.
  • It is recommended that you plot a course around the outside of the marked area, particularly if it is dark or there is poor visibility or rough weather.
  • Do not attempt to anchor within the bounded area.

Report Damage or Faults

If you damage farm equipment or wish to report a faulty or absent navigation aid, please contact the Harbourmaster.

Information from the Marine Farming Association

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Boundary Marks    

The boundaries of areas in use for marine farming are marked by special and/or cardinal marks according to the conditions of the farm’s permits. These marks are lit at night, and most also have radar reflectors. In general, sites conform with the requirements of Maritime New Zealand.

Guidelines for Aquaculture Management Areas and Marine Farms (.pdf 192 kB) from Maritime NZ.

Inshore Farm - Wainui Bay

Wainui Bay is an inshore marine farm site. It is marked with a single special mark at each of the two seaward corners.
These lights:

  • flash yellow in groups of 5 every 20 seconds.
  • are mounted at least 1m above the water with a nominal range of one nautical mile.
  • must reflect radar and have yellow retro-reflective tape visible by torchlight at 50m.

Offshore Farms

All other installations are offshore sites.  In general, the cardinal marks at the corners of each area are fitted with white quick or very quick flashing lights. The lights have a nominal range of four nautical miles, and should be at least 3m above the water. The marks are also fitted with a radar reflector at least 2.5m above the water. These cardinal marks are colour coded and fitted with topmarks in accordance with the IALA A system of beaconage, as the diagram below illustrates.


Image used by permission of Maritime NZ.

Passing Marks

Cardinal marks should be passed on the named side (ie pass in the northern quadrant of a north cardinal mark).

The intermediate special marks at offshore farms are coloured yellow, with a yellow flashing light with a nominal range of two nautical miles at a height of 2m above the water. These yellow lights generally flash a group of 5 every 20 seconds.

Special marks do not indicate a safe channel through marine farm areas.

  • If you do not know the exact location of hazards inside blocks delineated by cardinal marks, plot a course around the outside of the bounded area.
  • If it is dark, or there is poor visibility or rough weather,  plot a course around the outside of the bounded area.

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Tasman District Marine Farm and Scientific Navigation Mark Positions 

Download a list of field-checked buoy positions. Note that this information is subject to change at least twice a  year. No warranty is made as to the accuracy or currency of the information presented here.

Photographs of Marks

View example photographs of marine farm navigation buoys:

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Marine Farm Mark Maps    

These plans are based upon information provided to council by various marine farm consent holders, and are intended to only indicate approximate areas expected to be occupied by marine farming gear. These plans are subject to change at any time. Files will open in a new window.

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