Protesters to swim against fish farm

2019-07-10 06:00

Continued from page 1

According to Koekemoer, the proposed fish farm seeks a maximum of 82 cages off the Bay’s northern beaches, another 82 cages at the southern beaches and five new bivalve farms next to the current oyster farm, just north of PE Harbour.

DAFF needs approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for this plan to materialise.

Once they have the DEA’s approval, they will be able to sell licences to run commercial farms in the designated zones.

Algoa Bay is not only home to a rich interlinked system of beaches, reefs and creatures, but it’s also the provider of jobs and income to thousands of Nelson Mandela Bay residents.

Koekemoer said that the real risk lies in the loss of jobs for those who are employed in hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, shops, transport, cleaning and other businesses.

“Businesses rely on our beaches being clean and safe, as well as the sport events that use the nearshore.

“Those jobs, and future jobs, depend on us being stewards of this resource we are privileged to call home. However, despite agreeing in the 2015 appeal to go away and assess that risk, the DAFF has not done so,” Koekemoer said.

The unique features of Algoa Bay include water-based sporting events, such as the Nippers National (life-saving) Champs, the IronMan, the Ocean Racing Series, the Bellbuoy Swim and other surfing and related events.

However, according to Koekemoer, if DAFF installs fish farms in the Bay, sporting events in the metro will no longer exist.

Koekemoer added, “People travel from all over the world to experience our colourful underwater world, to swim in our seas and play on our beaches.

“All of that is possible because of how our Bay’s unique features combine to offer a home to penguins, dolphins, whales, fish of all shapes, sizes and colours and sharks too.”

An Avaaz petition is available to the public and the memorandum will circulate on social media after the protest. All residents are invited to attend the protest.

For more information, email Koekemoer at garyk22@me.com.

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