Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM), Greenpeace and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) today voiced their support for Te Pāti Māori’s call for a ban on seabed mining in Aotearoa.
“This is long overdue: we have been through multiple extensive and failed application processes, which have shown that seabed mining would harm our ocean environment and that there is broad spectrum public opposition to it. It’s time for a ban,” says Cindy Baxter, Chairperson of KASM.
“Seabed mining poses multiple risks to the ocean. Scientists have expressed serious concerns over the multiple potential impacts. Sediment plumes extending tens of kilometres could smother marine life far beyond the mine site and affect fish, seabirds and other wildlife. Noise from the operation would harm marine mammals, and life on the seafloor will be destroyed.”
Jessica Desmond, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace Aotearoa, says too little is known about the ecosystems targeted by miners, and this should be enough to warrant caution.
Te Pāti Māori co-leader, and seabed mining campaigner Debbie Ngawera Packer,
“Seabed mining could cause severe and potentially irreversible damage to the ocean and to the marine life that calls it home,” she says.
“Extractive industries have done a lot of harm to our blue planet and we must not open up a new frontier for more of the same. It’s time we learnt from past mistakes.
“We are in a biodiversity and climate emergency and we cannot afford to add another unnecessary pressure on the planet’s life support systems. The ocean needs protection, not mining. “ Phil McCabe of the DSCC says New Zealand’s position on seabed mining is of regional and global importance.
“With the depths of the Pacific Ocean at the centre of attention for the advancing global seabed mining industry, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu have called for moratoria in their waters,” he says.
“Pacific communities at large, who rely upon a healthy ocean for their daily well-being, are calling for a ban on deep-sea mining. They’re observing the declining state of ocean health first hand and know that rather than adding another stressor, we need to be relieving human pressures.”
Baxter says: “Australia’s Northern Territory government, after a nine-year moratorium, has studied the potential impacts of seabed mining, and is now implementing a full ban.
“And this is what we should also do in Aotearoa – our seabed should be protected, not sold off to mining companies.”