Anting-mining groups on Monday, February 27, held a demonstration outside the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office in Quezon City to call for an end to the seabed quarrying related to reclamation projects in Manila Bay.
“We share the concern of scientists and fisherfolks who have reported that fishes are being driven away because of the pollution and noise caused by seabed quarrying,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of the group Alyansa Tigil Mina.
He urged the DENR to conduct an investigation into what he described as “the destructive seabed quarrying activities and issue a corresponding order to stop the operations in Manila Bay.”
A study by the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute previously found that parts of Manila Bay, such as Bulacan, Metro Manila and Cavite, have high biomass of fish eggs and larvae.
Scientists warn that coastal and mangrove ecosystems that serve as nursery grounds for fish would be affected if dredging and reclamation activities were to continue.
Romeo Miranda, coordinator of the group Partido Lakas ng Masa in Cavite, also called on government to stop the quarrying, saying it’s a project that “only benefits rich corporations.”
“What should be implemented are projects that will benefit the fisherfolk and protect the envionment,” said Miranda.
Garganera called on the DENR to “retain and strictly enforce the existing moratorium on new seabed quarrying applications.”
He said that “a cost-benefit analysis must be undertaken to pave the way for the eventual ban of seabed quarrying.”
“To allow seabed quarrying and reclamation projects to continue despite the damage to the environment and the communities is totally unjust,” said the environmental activist.
Leave a Reply