Debate on Marine Spatial Planning Bill

Hon. Steven Moodley MPL

Honourable Speaker

We, the IFP acknowledge the importance of the Marine Spatial Planning Bill as it’s fundamental objective is to create a holistic and systematic approach to the management of marine-based resources.

As such, it is a laudable initiative, given the increasing availability of technology to ascertain what resources are actually available and best suitable. It serves a dual purpose in that it enhances economic activity while simultaneously protecting the fragile and invaluable marine environment.

As the largest ecosystem on Earth and the planet’s life support system, the Ocean has always been of vital interest for humankind. The diversity and inherent productivity of the world’s oceans serves to enhance this interest. What we need to never lose sight of is that, our security, our economy and our very survival all depend on healthy oceans. Sadly, the state of our oceans are appalling.

The pollution has and continue to plague our ocean’s health like a terminal illness eroding the once pristine beauty and minimising the benefits of our oceans. Slowly, turning into a plastic soup and destroying marine life, the deleterious effects are beyond chilling.

There is no doubt that the marine sector is a vital cog in the South African economy. It is the key to tourism and the film industries, creates and sustains jobs, boosts small local economies and enriches our natural landscapes. Conserving and maintaining the health of our Oceans is inextricably linked to the long- term health of our country and future generations.

As a nation, it is imperative, that we place a great deal of significance on our plans to sustain the diminishing resources of our surrounding marine environment. We all inhabit this earth and it is our responsibility to do our best to pass on a healthy planet to the future generations.

They will be the hapless beneficiaries of our irresponsible and reckless behaviour and will have to grapple with its consequences. Managing our Ocean wealth requires an overarching national marine spatial plan for a structure to help realise the maximum benefits of our Ocean wealth and assist in managing our resources effectively and sustainably.

We have an abundance of species and natural resources around our coastlines and we need to harness the opportunities that are present in a sustainable manner that is in the interests of marine life and all citizens of our country.

Having said this, we the IFP support the Bill.

I thank You.