A report by the Cawthron Institute shows there are likely to be a good number of important habitats in and around the area where Trans Tasman Resources re-applied for a marine licence to mine the seabed.
“That a new report shows plenty of marine life in the South Taranaki Bight in the area a seabed mining company has described as a “virtual desert” is not surprising,” Kiwis Against Seabed Mining said today.
The report was commissioned by the Taranaki Regional Council and tabled today.
The head of Trans Tasman Resources, Alan Eggars, last week described the mining site out in the Bight as “a vast expanse of sand.”
“The miners say this area is a ‘virtual desert,’ yet here we have scientists telling us quite the opposite,” said KASM chairperson Phil McCabe.
“While the report is only indicative, it is still significant, and shows the need for good information about the marine environment before letting a company come along and trash it,” he said.
According to KASM, it was information like this that was largely missing from the last application to mine this area, and this was one of the reasons the Environmental Protection Authority EPA refused to let them go ahead.
“Many people are simply unaware of how much life exists on the sea floor, and how important that life is to maintain a healthy marine environment,” said McCabe.
Trans Tasman Resources applied for a marine licence in 2013 to mine this area, but was turned down by the EPA. It has now re-applied for a similar licence.