Minister says his ministry has not changed its position regarding moratorium on marine mining activities

WINDHOEK: The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau says his ministry has not changed its position regarding the moratorium on marine mining activities in the country.

In September last year, Cabinet decided to place a moratorium on marine phosphate mining to enable the line ministry to conduct a strategic environmental assessment.

Esau said in the National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday that his ministry remains resolute in its commitment to ensure that proper scientific investigations are carried out which will allow the government to make an informed decision about the future of marine phosphate mining in Namibia.

The minister said the substantial body of information which will be collected during the moratorium period will provide an indication as to whether the marine ecosystem will be impacted by such mining.

He said this information will also guide the ministry as to whether the marine phosphate mining and fishing industries can co-exist.

The ministry has in the meantime contracted an independent company from Norway to carry out the scoping study for the strategic environmental assessment and build the capacity of Namibians in this area.