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Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber welcomes Fish Farm decision

Comment on behalf of Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber CEO Kevin Hustler

THE Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber welcomes Environmental Affairs Minister Edwa Molewa’s announcement to set aside a decision to grant environmental authorization for the development of a proposed fish farm off Hobie Beach.

Along with many other stakeholders in Nelson Mandela Bay, the Business Chamber has taken a strong stance against the fish farm, based on its location and the effect it could have particularly on the beachfront tourism industry.

Our concerns, as we have submitted on more than one occasion to the Department of Environmental Affairs, in writing and during stakeholder meetings, were based on the impact the fish farm could have on tourism and the environment, as well as the apparent lack of consultation with all the stakeholders in the metro.

We call on the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to take immense care during their possible resubmission to assess the location of the proposed fish farm in Algoa Bay holistically in terms of the risk to both the economy and the environment. The potential for tremendous negative impact on the tourism sector as a key pillar of the economy must be taken into account. We also implore the department to ensure thorough stakeholder engagements in future.

The extended value of coastal and marine tourism in Nelson Mandela Bay runs to an estimated R13-billion per year, which supports thousands of jobs in the city. The economic value of our beachfront should not be undermined – any risk to this pillar of our local economy must be averted at all cost.

We commend the parties who have lobbied against the location of the fish farm, in particular Algoa FM who have campaigned extensively to involve the broader community of Nelson Mandela Bay in opposing the fish farm at Hobie Beach. We also congratulate those businesses who have been opposed to the location of the fish farm, and would have been directly negatively impacted by this type of development.

For more information on this release please contact Communications Manager, Cindy Preller on media@nmbbusinesschamber.co.za

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