this blog has been kindly submitted by our committed receptionist Ginette Adams...
I'm a big fan of protest stickers; 'GE Free NZ', 'Save Tazzies Forests', Greenpeace Supporter', 'One Less Car'... my bike, my diary, my fridge, they’re all covered in the things. So last week, I'm cycling through Auckland and on the back of a car I see a real cool one I haven’t seen before for a group called KASM. Proving that these stickers definitely help get the word out, I checked on the internet to see what they're all about and I found out about an amazing group tackling a serious issue that has potential consequences for the marine environment.
I thought I'd share...
KASM (Kiwis Against Seabed Mining) are a New Zealand community based action group strongly opposed to any nonessential seabed mining. They raise public awareness around current issues and proposals to do with sea-bed mining for minerals in New Zealand waters. Seabed mining is a new one for me; its a bit like bottom trawling for minerals only they cut to the chase, get right in there and tear up gigantic tracts of seabed. KASM are concerned with the environmental effects and impact of seabed mining including destruction to the seafloor, habitats and species that live near and around the mined area. Basically if you dredge up vast areas of the seafloor you can kill every living thing on the seabed and cause the sand to move and settle over new areas smothering them and devastating the food chain for the marine community.
The KASM team getting the word out.
At present over 35 million acres of our New Zealand seabed are threatened by prospecting mining permits, from the low tide to 18 km offshore. What sort of an effect could this sort of thing have on eco-systems, surfing and tourism!?? Not exactly 100% pure eh?
From an environmental perspective this could ruin our beaches and devastate marine life and the habitats they occupy. KASM also refer to the Foreshore and Seabed Act (2004) which is portrayed as protecting the foreshore and seabed for Kiwis both now and in years to come. However KASM says the fact seabed mining is taking place at all is a breach of the Act.
As quoted from KASM’s blog on their website: "In effect, this is the sale of the seabed to overseas interests, resulting in massive levels of degradation to our precious coastal marine areas, similar to that caused by bottom trawling but on a much larger scale. This was not what the Government promised (2005)."
After discovering more about their interest and efforts in protecting the marine environment I’m really glad that community groups like KASM are out there working towards keeping our beaches pristine for future generations to enjoy. .I hope many others will check them out and get behind them. For more information on this Kiwi campaign go to www.blacksands.org.nz