The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) has suspended the environmental impact assessment approval process for the emergency powership deal in Saldanha Bay.
This suspension comes after a formal complaint was laid and spearheaded by The Green Connection in conjunction with Coastal Links and Masifundise.
The complaint highlighted that karpowership consultants failed to conduct a thorough assessment on the underwater noise impacts of floating powerships on fishing and the marine ecology of Saldanha Bay and the nearby Langebaan Lagoon.
“The basis for this complaint, is the fact that the practitioners’ failed to conduct a specialist study of the potential consequences or impacts of underwater noise generated by the ships – on the environment and marine resources of Saldanha Bay – prior to submission of the final environmental impact assessment report (FEIAR). We are particularly concerned about the consequences for small-scale fishers of Saldanha Bay, who depend on a healthy ocean and marine environment for their livelihoods, said Liziwe McDaid from The Green Connection.
The Green Connection cited a number of studies from all over the world to highlight the dangers of underwater noise to fish species and other aquatic life forcing DFFE to halt the approval process until further notice.
“This is a victory for the fishing communities of Langebaan and Saldanha Bay. It is important that our small-scale fishing communities know that they can take on big industries and win,” said Naseegh Jaffer Director at Masifundise.