Jason Gima Wuri
4 September 2012
Sea bed mining in the proposed area will destroy the very habitats by which small organisms, some known and many still unknown, depend upon.
These organisms whether sedentary or free swimming will have less to depend on for their survival when their habitats are destroyed.
This was stated by Narakobi Lawyers in a written statement regarding seabed mining in Papua New Guinea.
It said the chain effect from the mine could easily affect bigger organisms or fish that depend on the smaller organisms found around the surface of the sulfide vents.
In fact, just around the selected area exists what is called the Magado Square or Okuk Square. This area is well known as a breeding ground for tuna fish and had been a protected area for a long time.
“Could this ground be dependent on the origin of food chain from hydro thermal chimneys? Abundance of fishery could be dependent on life on the chimney? questioned the statement.
The statement indicated that environmental damage of some magnitude would occur and it was sufficient to prevent mining of the Bismark Archipelagic sea floor.
Furthermore, it said the scientific data, be it baseline or other, must be available to all stakeholders and the public to access with other best scientific advice before and not after mining.
“Following which a properly constituted Board or Council be mandated under the law to make a decision, advisory to make decisions on political expediency, economic or environmental reasons.
“It has the duty as Government for the people to pay attention to all those who might be affected,’’ it said.
The paper stated that there was already one call from a leading university of the world that states that “Underwater mining will decimate deep water organisms” and surely this is enough to be cautious.
“PNG must not repeat mistakes in Ok Tedi and others that warnings by most reputable international entities were ignored, resulting in massive environmental damage and degradation of environment which will last for many years to come,’’ the statement reported.