Namibian fishing associations demand answers on marine phosphate mining

The Confederation of Namibia Fishing Associations has ordered its lawyers to seek explanation from the environment commissioner regarding the issuance of a clearance certificate to a marine phosphate mining company.

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Fishing boats take shelter at a harbor in Xiangshan County, Ningbo City of east China's Zhejiang Province, July 10, 2015. Typhoon Chan-Hom is expected to land somewhere between Sanmen and Zhoushan in east China's Zhejiang Province on Saturday afternoon, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) forecast. (Xinhua/Zhang Peijian) (zwx)
Fishing boats take shelter at a harbor in Xiangshan County, Ningbo City of east China's Zhejiang Province, July 10, 2015. Typhoon Chan-Hom is expected to land somewhere between Sanmen and Zhoushan in east China's Zhejiang Province on Saturday afternoon, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) forecast. (Xinhua/Zhang Peijian) (zwx)

This came after the environment commissioner issued the Namibia Marine Phosphate a clearance certificate to start work on the Sandpiper Mine, about 120 kilometers off the coast of the port town of Walvis Bay (about 395 kilometers from Windhoek).

Issued on Sept. 5, the certificate was made available to the media on Oct. 18. Since then, the issue has seen an unprecedented row between the environment and the fisheries ministries.

The confederation has been an outspoken opponent of marine phosphate mining, which they say would destroy the fishing sector that employs more than 13,000 people permanently and more than 8,000 others indirectly.

The fisheries minister, Bernard Esau, also opposed the issuance of the certificate, saying it might damage the fishing sector that generated 10 billion Namibian dollars (710 million U.S. dollars) in export revenue during the 2015/2016 season. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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