KASM | Scoop | 24 August 2016
Coastal communities are preparing to fight a new application to mine the seabed, lodged with the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining said today.
Trans Tasman Resources (TTR), whose 2013 bid to mine ironsands from the seabed in the South Taranaki Bight was turned down by the EPA in 2014, is making another attempt to get a marine licence, lodged with the EPA yesterday. It is understood TTR is applying to mine the same 66sqkm of seabed as its last application.
“Last time this company tried to get permission to dig up 50 million tonnes of sand a year from the seabed, communities up and down the west coast of the North Island objected in their thousands, with record numbers of submissions against the project,” said Phil McCabe, KASM chairperson.
“From surfers to recreational fishers and local Iwi, ocean lovers made a stand against this destructive and experimental practice, and we were proved right. The EPA said there were too many unknowns, and nothing has changed.
“It’s disappointing that TTR is back with the same application, trying to wear down public opposition, but this foreign-owned company should know that they will continue to meet strong resistance from Kiwis who will stand up for their beaches ocean and marine environment.”
“From the public reaction this week on social media, we know the strength of feeling against seabed mining hasn’t gone away. If anything, it’s stronger,” he said.
Given the unknown impacts of seabed mining, KASM has gathered more than 4700 signatures on a petition calling for a moratorium on seabed mining in New Zealand waters.
The EPA has turned down two applications on seabed mining: the first was Trans Tasman Resources application to mine the South Taranaki Bight, and then Chatham Rock Phosphate’s bid to mine phosphorus off the deep seabed of the Chatham Rise.