TROUBLED WATERS PART 1: Socio-Economic impact study of Algoa Bay Fish Farm was conducted
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana says that a socio-economic assessment was conducted on the impact of the proposed fish farm in Algoa Bay as part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA).
Replying to a written question in the National Assembly from Andrew Whitfield (DA), the Minister explained that in this assessment “user conflict is assessed for specialist tourism and recre-tional activities,” such as sporting activities, recreational fishing, whale watching, sailing and scuba diving.
He said the impact significance was regarded as “medium with mitigation”.
Zokwana said that key impacts “assessed” in the socio-economic assessment included real estate values; impacts on the local fishing industry; pollution of the marine environment; land-based infrastructure; marine protected areas; new employment opportunities; skills development and contribution to national food security and contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said the marine specialist report further accessed “user conflicts” with regard to the safety of recreational water sport participants; impacts on recreational scuba divers, yacht sailing and recreational boat anglers and commercial squid and long-line fisheries.
Zokwana said his department was currently in the process of “creating an enabling environment to develop the aquaculture sector”.
The Algoa Bay fish farm was one initiative in this.
The Minister said an extensive public participation process had been conducted listing the number of meetings and presentations that had been made, where the documentation had been available and stakeholders consulted.
Zokwana said if final authorisation for the development of an Aquaculture Development Zone in Algoa Bay was granted by Department of Environmental Affairs, investment would then be sought.
A marketing strategy and initiatives to get investment, he said, would then be sought for the project in collaboration with Trade and Industry, adding: “So far, there are no investors formally listed.” - MetroMinutes.
Photo courtesy of www.zigzag.co.za
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