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TV exposure ‘major boost’ for Save Langebaan Group

After months of getting more Langebaan lovers to take note of the looming aquacultural zone development (ADZ) the Save Langebaan Lagoon Action Group have received a “major boost”.

This comes after the current affairs programme Carte Blanche aired a segment on Sunday on the 884 ha development, including fish and mussel farms, proposed by the Department of Forestry, Agriculture and Fisheries (DAFF) for the Saldanha Bay area.

“Our Facebook page has had a massive increase of traffic and commentary since the programme was aired, as well as many requests to join the group.

“The online petition on our website www.savelangebaanlagoon.co.za and on the facebook page had a boost and we would like to urge more people to make the effort in supporting the group’s campaign,” group members Inge Frost and Clifford Wright said this week.

The group has apparently had a 1870% spike in activity after the programme aired.

The four precincts for aquaculture include Big Bay North, Small Bay Saldanha, Outer Bay North and Outer Bay South. The project forms part of national government’s Operation Phakisa.

Locals however fear the aquaculture farms could lead to a direct decrease in tourism numbers. Tourism is a major source of income, currently responsible for an estimated 3 000 jobs in the area where as the ADZ promise around 800 jobs over the next ten years.

Along with the possibility of hitting debris from the farms that could pose a danger to international and local visitors enjoying watersports on the lagoon, locals are also worried about the ecological impact the farms could have on the Langebaan Lagoon – an environmentally protected area and home to thousands of migrant birds.

Christo van Wyk, member of the Saldanha Bay Water Quality Trust Forum (SBWQTF), shared his concerns about the ‘desk top’ only research done by the Department for the development.

“It is clear a large sector of the local community is now more informed and concerned about the proposed ADZ. We have received several emails and phone calls from individuals offering their knowledge and advice. There has been national and international support and comments regarding the project,” says Frost.

The group thanks Elite Charters for the use of their yacht and the crew during the filming.

To watch the full insert visit the Weslander or Save Langebaan Lagoon Facebook groups.

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