21 Aug 2012

Fears mining off PNG could jeopardise local fishing industry

6:29 am on 21 August 2012

The Deep Sea Mining Campaign says the mining for gold and copper in the Bismarck Sea could jeopardise Papua New Guinea's fishing industry.

The world's first deep sea mining project, Nautilus Minerals' Solwara 1 project, is poised to begin but is facing mounting opposition in the coastal communities of provinces bordering the Bismarck Sea.

However the campaign's co-ordinator Dr Helen Rosenbaum says other already established industries in the Bismarck Sea, such as the tuna fishery could be badly affected by deep sea mining.

"It's also of regional importance because tuna is a migratory species so anything that impacts from tuna in one part of the Pacific will affect communities who are fishing tuna, perhaps different life stages of the tuna in other parts of the Pacific, and also their well being if tuna become contaminated by metals stirred up by the mining process people will be eating them all through out the Pacific."

Dr Helen Rosenbaum.