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Help SAS Stop Seabed Mining off Cornwall's Coastline

19:33 18th June 2013 by Alex Dick-Read
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Surfers Against Sewage Call For Cornwall Council To Refuse Dredging Proposals

Join Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) in voicing concerns to Cornwall Council about Marine Minerals Limited’s commercial dredging proposal for the North Cornish on a new Facebook Causes petition. Cornwall Council is the regulatory body enforcing the St Ives Bay Coast Protection Order 2002 and has the power to decide if Marine Minerals Limited can proceed with this ominous commercial venture. The dredging will involve removing, processing and partially replacing millions of tonnes of sediment from St Ives Bay, as close as 200 metres from beautiful Cornish beaches, for the next 10 years. SAS members have been given an anti-dredging campaign postcard addressed to Cornwall Council with their latest membership magazine. And supporters can also voice their concerns on a specially designed Facebook Causes petition hosted at: www.sas.org.uk

Surfers Against Sewage has serious concerns about the lack of competency displayed so far by Marine Minerals Limited. Marine Mineral Limited’s dredging proposal has the potential to devastate an extremely valuable stretch of coastline. Cornwall’s north coast is environmentally important, well used by communities and tourists, and supports numerous established industries and thousands of jobs. Marine Minerals Limited has already unlawfully removed sediments without the required licenses and submitted a deficient scoping opinion*, heavily criticised by both SAS and the national regulator, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

Marine Minerals Limited claims their dredging project could support up to 100 jobs. This sounds like good news in the current economic climate, however, Marine Minerals Limited offer no data to support these figures. Nor have Marine Minerals Limited taken into account any impacts their dredging proposal might have on established jobs in the area. Surfing alone brings in £64 million to the Cornish economy annually and support 1,600 full time jobs. Tourism in the South West dwarfs surfing in terms of revenue and associated jobs. Furthermore, Hayle, smack bang in the middle of St Ives Bay is home to more tourist beds than anywhere else in Cornwall outside of Newquay.

Hidden deep within Marine Minerals Limited’s proposal is the disturbing requirement for significant exclusion zones around their operations in the sea, which will prohibit bathers, surfers and other recreational water users from entering the sea and exclude other commercial activities from significant areas of the ocean. On balance the costs seem to far outweigh any potential benefits, unless you are a director at Marine Minerals Limited.

If you share SAS’s concerns please join SAS in lobbying Cornwall Council who is responsible for granting or refusing Marine Minerals Limited’s commercial dredging license for St Ives Bay. Just sign and send back the freepost campaign postcard with Pipeline (SAS members magazine), or sign SAS’s anti-dredge petition at www.sas.org.uk . Cornwall Council recently became the first local authority to support SAS’s Protect Our Waves petition and officially recognised the value of surfing and the marine environment to the region. The Cornish coastline belongs to Cornish communities, not to commercial dredgers.

SAS campaign Director, Andy Cummins says: “This ludicrous proposal is targeting tin reserves in the sand, just offshore of some of Cornwall’s premier surfing beaches, designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and valuable community beaches. I hope Cornwall Council agrees that the potential costs to Cornish communities and established businesses far outweigh any benefit for anyone other than the directors at Marine Minerals Limited.”

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