The public is being asked to have their say on the relocation of six South Island salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds.

The six farms are operated by New Zealand King Salmon. Five will move into the Pelorus area, and one into the Tory channel area.

Moving them would mean the company can better fulfill its environmental obligations.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the proposal will make better use of parts of the Marlborough Sounds, while allowing the farms to meet environmental requirements.


He said the proposal has environmental benefits and would make use of parts of the Marlborough Sounds with stronger currents, to better protect sea beds.

Guy said they are likely to be a variety of views on how best to achieve long-term sustainability of salmon farming.

"Salmon do better in higher current flow waters than low flow, it's also better for environmental outcomes, bio security and fish health," Guy said.

The move would also have economic benefits by creating more jobs.

Consultation on the proposal ends in late March.