First-of-kind protest against fish farms

2019-06-27 06:01

A first-of-its-kind protest where participants will take to the sea - swimming, paddling, snorkeling, surfing or walking from Hobie Beach to Humewood Beach - will be held on Saturday, July 13th against the proposed commercial fish farming earmarked for Algoa Bay.

The event is organised by Adventure Swims ZA to celebrate Algoa Bay and its beaches which are regarded as some of South Africa’s best for water-based sporting events.

A petition by Wildlife & Environmental Society of South Africa, the Zwartkops Conservancy and the Algoa Bay Hope Spot against the proposed commercial fish farms, has been registered at Avaaz. It suggests alternatives to improve water, food and job security in the Bay.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) plans to bring commercial fish farming to the Bay through the use of sea cages in three locations. A maximum of 82 cages off the northern beaches, 82 cages off the southern beaches and five new bivalve farms next to the existing oyster farm, just north of the Port Elizabeth Harbour.

In the petition it is stated that, “Put a single fish cage in the water close to the beaches and swim-related events will stop. Fish farms are likely to create a new food source for sharks that pose a risk to humans.”

In the petition it is also stated that “DAFF is ignoring key aspects of feedback from their own experts. They are forging ahead and side-step warnings by marine scientists who know the Bay.”

  • All who utilize and enjoy the beaches of Port Elizabeth are invited to join in for a swim, paddle, snorkel, surf or walk along the beach front from Hobie Beach at 9:00 to Humewood Beach at 10:00, where a memorandum will be handed to officials. - REPORTER

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