Marine Life on Arakan Coast in Danger of Extinction from Mine Blasts

Kyauk Pru: Locals complained to Narinjara that aquatic animals from the Arakan coast are in danger of extinction due to blasting for the gas pipelines on the coral reef.

Dead fish seen on Kyauk Pru beach (Narinjara)

“Occasional mine blasting is still done by the Chinese, even though it is not as frequent as before, particularly around Madae Island. Several aquatic animals, including fish, prawns, and turtles are dying in great numbers because of this. If they continue doing this, the animals will go extinct there soon,” said a fisherman from Rwar Ma Village on Madae Island, on condition of anonymity.

He continue that the Chinese engineers are constructing a deep sea port and gas pipelines on Madae Island and they are blasting the coral reef with dynamite along the entrance path of the ocean liners.

“The Chinese are blasting not only coral reef, but also rocky mountains on the island. All the rocky mountains on the island have been affected severely and both land and water have been deformed. Nobody dares tell the Chinese. They are exploiting our natural resources as if this is their country,” he said.

Narinjara was able to record the dead fish killed by mine blasting on the west beach of Kyauk Pru.

Similarly, coral reef near Swan Pann Shine Village in Kyauk Pru has also been blasted to produce gravel. The result is that the natural coral reef was totally destroyed and a variety of fish stocks have died, a local reported.

“Corals from Swann Pann Shine are gone. Fish have died. But the company and some people did not give any notice. They only think about the money they will gain from MGC Company when they sell the gravel and stone to the company. Due to this blasting, fish have become a rare sight now,” he said.

In addition, it was reported that the Chinese have blasted the Na Kyar Maw coral site from Ramree and it has entirely disappeared.

A local elder from Thanvan Chaung Quarter told Narinjara that constant mining and blasting has resulted in the mass death of marine life and culminated in a scarcity of fish and other aquatic animals that local residents depended on for their livelihood near Kyauk Pru Township.

No response from authorities despite heavy mine blasting and mass death of marine life

“The fishermen can’t find fish anymore. The poor are hard hit as they rely on the sea for their daily food. Fish has totally died out. Even if we go to deeper sea, we are told not to go here and there. People are so much in trouble,” the source said.

The latest news is that a company is blasting Nasarine Mountain, on which there are ancient pagodas, on Nasarine Island northeast of Kyauk Pru. Locals are extremely worried that the removal of the mountain will result in strong winds and high tides that will adversely affect the nearby villages.