Monday, July 6, 2020

Gunjur fishing industry needs urgent attention to sustain incomes and employment

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Ever since large chunks of fish were littered on the beaches of Gunjur portions of which were found to be exhibiting strange colours, there have been accusations, denials, court action and now production is at a standstill.

The once vibrant fishing industry of Gunjur has suddenly come to a virtual halt manifesting itself as a plunging of earnings and unemployment.

The issues centre on Golden Lead. One issue is the protection of the environment while the other is the economic prosperity of the people of Gunjur and environ. Are they mutually exclusive? Is Golden Lead not capable of continuing production without hurting the environment? Are the NEA and other government agencies not capable of regularly monitoring the factory processes to ensure compliance?

If the answers to these questions are in the positive then a mechanism that will safeguard the environment once the factory starts operation should be worked out without delay.

The mechanism must also guard against dumping of fish and preservation of our fish resources.

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Once the factory starts operation then all the associated problems will fall into place.

If one is not already in place it makes sense for the ministries of fisheries, the environment and trade and other relevant government agencies to set up a task force to handle this matter with urgency. The goal should be making the factory comply and saving employment and earnings. The wisdom of continuing with a court case when the factory is willing to comply should be put into question.

 

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