Andrew George's plea for Marine Minerals to consult Cornwall fisherman
A local MP has called for the company planning to mine tin off the north Cornish coast to make sure it consults with everybody who might be affected by the plans.
St Ives MP Andrew George has contacted the local Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority to ask if the plans from Marine Minerals could have an adverse effect on commercial fishermen operating in the area.
The head of the authority Eddy Derriman responded by letter confirming that this could be the case if the proposals to reclaims deposits of the metal between St Ives and St Agnes go ahead.
He wrote: "At this very early scoping stage of the project, the fishermen are unlikely to be adversely affected.
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"However if the project comes to fruition and the mining activity starts, then inevitably they will be affected on a practical front and will be required to shift their gear and potentially may be affected if there is any localised impact on fish/shellfish stocks."
Mr Derriman also noted that the licensing authority, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Marine Minerals had undertaken "little, if any, directed consultation...with the people most likely to be affected, the fishermen".
Mr George said, "I don't think anyone would want to stand in the way of a commercial enterprise that has the potential to generate many jobs and contribute to the local economy, but I also know that the company itself would want all of those who may be affected to be both consulted and considered in its future plans."
He said he would contact the MMO to ask that it makes sure that local interests are properly consulted and taken into consideration in any future plans.
He said: "Marine conservation bodies and inshore fishermen who place fixed gear in the area have a right to have their concerns taken fully into account."
The company is in the process of carrying out marine survey work which involves filming the seabed and collecting sand samples to examine the flora, fauna and marine life in the sand.
Yesterday Marine Minerals was out on its survey boat the MV Flat Holm.
Commercial director John Sewell said St Agnes fisherman Captain Simon Thomas had been on board to see what the company was doing.
Mr Sewell said: "It is too early for anyone to make a judgement on the project because we have not even got a method of how we are going to do the work at this stage."