Fryday FryUp – 14 October

October 14, 2016

Seabed mining, LegaSea needs your help, remember crayfish?

Around 1.6 tonnes of seabed could be extracted every second under new proposals to mine the seabed off the Taranaki coast.

That seabed, rich in nutrients, home to many of our favourite species, gets pulped and then 90% of it is squirted back into the water, causing untold devastation to the marine environment and aquatic life.

But hey, we might be able to dig out the iron sand, so that’s all fine, right?

Fortunately, the good folk over at KASM – Kiwis Against Seabed Mining – have been shouting from the rooftops and generally drumming up public submissions for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) hearings on the matter.

Image: Dave Young

Last time round they got three times more submissions on this matter than any other they’d heard and more than 90% of them were opposed to the idea. This time round KASM hopes to crack the 10,000 submission mark.

The problem is we just don’t know what damage such mining will have on the environment. Sure, there are jobs to be had – although nobody really believes the company’s figures – but is that worth the destruction that’s seemingly inevitable with this kind of project?

The EPA has received so many submissions it has today announced it will extend the time period so the new deadline is November 14. Follow KASM on Facebook for more information and make a submission if you feel strongly that mining the seabed is a bloody stupid idea.

KASM –  KASM’s Facebook page
KASM – Online submission form
NZSFC – submission against the application and other relevant documents
NPSUC – New Plymouth Sportfishing & Underwater Club submission highlighting environmental concerns
Matt Watson – urging people to submit to protect our precious marine environment
Wanganui Chronicle – EPA on the horns of a dilemma

LegaSea needs your help
Our poll asking if you support a full Commission of Inquiry into this fisheries management is still online. If you haven’t already voted, please do so. It takes about 3 seconds to complete.

LegaSea – Take the poll

You can join our mailing list and stand alongside the tens of thousands of Kiwis who are starting to ask questions about why our fisheries are so poorly managed, and what are we going to do about it?

LegaSea – Join the Team

As ever we need your support to keep up with our activities. Donations are gratefully received – just click on the link below and we’ll guide you through the rest. But also, Christmas is coming so why not think about shopping for your fishing mates at the store. You’ll find some great products from our supporting partners and some great prices too. Whether it’s sun hats, manual inflate lifejackets, something to keep you warm or a bumper sticker for the car, we’ve got you covered. Plus all profits go to help the cause.

LegaSea – Donate
LegaSea – Show you care. Wear the gear or grab a gift with the help of LegaSea

Remember crayfish?
Crayfish numbers are so low in the Hauraki Gulf and surrounding northeast coast that University of Auckland researchers are referring to crayfish as “functionally extinct”. This means they are no longer fulfilling their role in the marine ecosystem. This is dire news for both the environment and the public.

In 2014 the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council submitted to the Ministry for Primary Industries that the Area 2 fishery, between Pakiri and East Cape, was the most severely depleted crayfish stock in the country. It has the worst commercial catch rate, at less than half a kilo per potlift.

How can MPI claim we have a well-managed, sustainable fisheries model when something as fundamentally important as “keeping enough of the species around to ensure future survival” is ignored at this rate? It’s not a coincidence NZ’s highest value export species is at risk from exploitation and collapse.

LegaSea supports the call for a Commission of Inquiry into how our fisheries are managed because the quota management system has not delivered the promised riches, innovation or abundant fisheries. Our country is missing out on substantial economic benefits just to protect the status quo. We could do so much better with our national, natural resources.

Crayfish – ‘functionally extinct’ in the Hauraki Gulf
NZSFC – submission supporting a rebuild of crayfish on the northeast coast
LegaSea – craypots creeping death on our coastline
LegaSea – shameful crayfish management