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Professor Kaluwin: Deep Sea Mining Operations Will Pose a Threat to PNG Marine Life

Papua New Guinea would possibly be the first country in the world to conduct Deep Sea Mining.

The technology and equipment developed for the activity will be experimented in the waters of PNG.

Academics such as the Executive Dean for the School of Natural & Physical Sciences, Professor Chalapan Kaluwin, who has been researching the marine environment of PNG says, these new equipment pose a threat to the country’s marine environment as no one knows yet the advantage and the disadvantages of these materials.

Yesterday, an environment activist group in Milne Bay raised concerns about deep sea mining being extended to the waters of Milne Bay.

“Nautilus Technology has not been tested anywhere in the world and is sitting in Port Moresby. It will go 1500 metres deep into the ocean, and mind you, the world still does not know much about the ocean floor and thus poses a risk for the marine life,” Professor Kaluwin said.

He says the waste from this experimental mining project can be dumped back into the ocean. He says if this happens, the rest of PNG waters will be polluted as Milne Bay & New Ireland waters have one of the fastest currents in the world where the wastes will be fast dispersed to other parts of PNG.

“The areas where the experimental mining will take place houses the largest Tuna stock in PNG and once you have unknown machines digging your ocean and dumping waste, you will find your Tuna migrating elsewhere.

“The government for years have been ill-advised and make decisions with little knowledge of the issues surrounding mining. As such you see a rise in social and economic problems, such as the recent LNG project areas,” Professor Kaluwin said.

He stressed that the government should consult with landowners before engaging in commercial activities on land that belong to the people.

He encouraged the ‘Ban Sea Bed Mining Group’ in Milne Bay to map and register their customary boundaries (sea & land) so that they are not easily manipulated.

Professor Kaluwin stressed that sustainability is vital for PNG’s development and protecting resources for the future generation will benefit PNG in the long run.

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