Seems that the powers that be have finally acknowledged that establishing a fish farm off Pollock Beach isn't such a bright idea after all. In a statement released on Friday by DAFF's consultants, Anchor Environmental, it was stated that "based on the revised significance of negative economic impacts linked to finfish farming at Algoa 1 Option 1 from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ after implementation of mitigation measures, DAFF has revised its priorities in respect of mariculture in Algoa Bay and has nominated Option B as the preferred Alternative Option. Alternative Option B involves:
So in a nutshell that means no fish Farm off Summerstrand, but a mussel/oyster farm instead. The area, if approved, would most likely be split into a 70:30 ratio 218 ha would be allocated to mussels and 94 ha allocated to oyster farming. Despite bivalve farming having less impact than finfish farming it could still pose risks to the environment.
Thanks to the Rhodes University Ichthyology department for doing some in depth studies into Algoa 1 and showing it to have limited economic viability and a high impact on tourism and recreation in the bay, together with the well-publicised public outcry, it seems to have been sufficient for DAFF to change it's mind.
That doesn't mean the end of things, as the effect of a mussel/oyster farm just offshore the public beaches now also has to be evaluated. As well as the effect of the new fish farm location at Algoa 7, and it's potential impacts on the Algoa Marine Protected Area.
So if you lent your voice to the public outcry by submitting an objection or participating in the protest, give yourself a pat on the back, as at least the worst case scenario has been avoided.
You can check out the shots and wrap on the fish farm protest organised by Adventure Swims ZA here:
The next phase of the upcoming application-phase public participation process (Public Participation Phase 2 of 2), will commence on 23 July 2019. Please submit your comments on the Draft Basic Assessment Report (BAR) by Wednesday 28 August 2019.
You can check out the Draft Basic Assessment Report and Appendices here:
Two public meetings will be held in Port Elizabeth during the upcoming public participation process:
Date: 31 July 2019Time: 18:00 - 20:30
Venue: Main Hall/Reception Area, Port Elizabeth Vuyisile Mini Square, Govan Mbeki Ave, Port Elizabeth Central, Port Elizabeth, 6001
Date: 1 August 2019
Time: 18:00 - 20:30
Venue: Motherwell NU2 Community Hall, Chief Poto Street, Motherwell, 6211
The objective of the application-phase meeting is to present the outcomes of the pre-application public participation process and how comments provided by stakeholders were considered in the Draft BAR.
Here's the updated Draft Basic Assessment Report - all the new info that was included based on the input from the Britz & Sauer study as well as all the public comments have been underlined so it makes it easier to see what's been amended.