PGF support for West Coast fishing industry

A Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant will allow Greymouth Port to undertake dredging work to ensure fishing boats can use the lagoon during low tide, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.

The PGF will provide $750,000 to allow the slipway and lagoon at Greymouth Port to be dredged to four metres.

“This is desperately needed work as silt has built up to such a level that water is only one metre deep in some places,” Shane Jones said.

“For the Port to continue to be operational for fishing boats, at least four metres of clearance is needed so I’m glad the PGF is able to get this work done.

“The fishing industry is essential to Coasters, with the Port of Greymouth lagoon seeing up to 70 vessels a day during hoki and tuna season. It’s also where all fish off-loading and vessel maintenance is done.

“Silt build-up can damage vessels, even at high tide, and the slipway is the only registered maintenance facility between Bluff and Nelson.

“Fishing and aquaculture, and seafood processing industries, contribute more than 160 jobs to the Westland economy, and provide significant employment in related sectors.

“The Greymouth Port is critical to both industries, and this funding assists in making sure those jobs are secure,” Shane Jones said.

The Grey District Council will use the Buller District Council’s dredge for this work, with the PGF funding supplemented by a $100,000 contribution from the Talley’s Group, a major user of the port. Development West Coast has also agreed to help fund the dredging work.

During a visit to the West Coast last month, Minister Jones announced the PGF would fund four feasibility studies, including to investigate the viability of upgrades to both Westport and Greymouth Ports.