The Democratic Alliance (DA) has strongly opposed the potential Algoa Bay Fish Farm project, which will devastate the economy of the biggest Metro in the Eastern Cape.
The Department of Environmental Affairs, in a response to concerns raised at a public meeting held in Port Elizabeth also don’t seem to think there is a need for a fish farm, as they stated categorically that there is enough fish in the sea for the fishing industry.
The Metro faces potential tourism Rand losses of around R 13 billion, but the main role players, viz Tourism and Business, were kept in the dark and were uninformed as to the nature of the project.
“The DA’s position is that the fragile metro economy cannot afford the potential loss of tourism, nor can it be subjected to a hugely intrusive development on our beachfront which has the potential to severely damage the ecology of Algoa Bay,” said Chris Roberts from the DA.
“We are supportive of the idea of aquaculture within the metro and have indicated that we would support such an initiative at a more appropriate site.
The Ngqura CDC would be an ideal site and has already identified a suitable area within the development zone for such activities.
There are also immediate benefits for this site in that land based aquaculture is not only proven to be more cost effective, it also creates more jobs,” added Roberts.
The long term effects on the metro’s economy have not been quantified sufficiently, and currently the negative impact would seem to outweigh any positives regarding the future of the proposed fish farm.
Port Elizabeth is home to the South African Iron Man event and Algoa Bay is renowned for its watersports, all of which will be severely affected should the controversial fish farm project go ahead.
St Francis Bay was also identified as a potential site for a fish farm, but Algoa Bay was deemed to be preferential.