Africa: Greenpeace Africa Statement On South Africa Navy Marine Blasts

Underwater blasting and detonation of explosives by the South Africa Navy began at the Marine Protected area of False Bay, which hosts a sizable colony of endangered African penguins. The underwater blasting raises deep concerns about the possible harm to marine creatures in False Bay.

In response to the incident, Dr. Aliou Ba, Ocean Campaigner at Greenpeace Africa said: “We express our support to all the communities of Simon’s Town who have experienced this sad event last week. Our nature is our biggest wealth and witnessing its destruction by some human actions that could have been avoided is always heartbreaking.”

In recent years, the Bay has faced a multitude of challenges like pollution, fishing and poaching which all constitute a danger for its rich marine biodiversity. The Navy’s exercises would only further darken the future of this bay.

“This explosion is a major threat to marine biodiversity. The marine ecosystem in this area is rich and diverse with many species like Dusky dolphins, Bryde’s whales and Southern Right Whales; incidents such as this help wipe out the efforts made over several decades to conserve it. Nature is a treasure, and the SA government should listen to the people who have since the beginning been asking for the blasting site to be shifted as it was close to the world-famous Boulders Beach African penguin breeding colony, ” Dr. Aliou concluded.

Greenpeace Africa calls on the Department of Defence and Military Veterans and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) to stop forthwith the exercise that only destroys marine environment and endangers marine life. Let’s join hands to ensure the safety of the Marine Protect area of False Bay.

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