Norwegian Seafood industry and environmentalists slam plans for massive pollution of fjord
The Norwegian government has approved massive pollution in on of Norway’s rich fjords. A new mine will be allowed to dump its tailings directly into the Førde fjord in the west of Norway. – It is shocking that Norway allow projects of this kind, says Lars Haltbrekken, leader of Friends of the Earth Norway. Norwegian seafood companies are also strongly critical to the plans.
The controversial mining project in the Førde fjord will allow the mining industry to use the biologically rich fjord as a dumping ground for 250 million tons of harmful tailings. Friends of the Earth Norway react strongly to the government’s permission to pollute the fjord, which has previously been designated as a “national salmond fjord” by the government.
- The Førde fjord is pristine and a rich source of fish, which will be greatly damaged by the vast amounts of tailings which will be dumped from the mine. Every minute, 24 hours of the day, for 40 years, 11 tons of tailings will be dumped in the fjord. Our foremost marine scientists have given sharp warnings against the plans. The government completely ignores this.
In a letter to the Norwegian government last year, the Norwegian Seafood Federation warned that the planned pollution would cause significant damage to the seafood industry (link in Norwegian).
The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries protested against the plans, because of the negative impacts on marine life. The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research has also issued several thorough statements and reports showing that the dumping of tailings is capable of doing massive damage to life in the fjord.
- All the advice from environmental experts suggest that this is an issue where the precautionary principle should have been invoked, says Lars Haltbrekken.
Local businesses including fisheries and tourism-related enterprises have protested against the projects, as they endanger the existing jobs in sustainable sectors, and harm Norway’s reputation.
The Norwegian Environment Agency warned against using the fjord as a dumping ground last year, out of fears that species of fish could be permanently erased from Norwegian waters. Friday last week, the Directorate reached a different conclusion based on a “comprehensive review” of all the factors involved.
- The Environmental Agency’s position is hard to understand. We thought their responsibility was to the protection of our environment. The mining industry have several good alternatives available, but will now be allowed increased profits, by sending the bill for their pollution to our nature, our fisheries and future generations, Lars Haltbrekken says.
For more info, contact:
Lars Haltbrekken, leader of Friends of the Earth Norway. +47 91612191
Anne-Line Thingnes Førsund, coordinator of the local protest group +47 95724242
Eivind Trædal, communications adviser (available in Brussels) +47 97548849
The article was last updated on: 16.01.2018