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Title: Environmental impact assessment (EIA) for establishment of a katsuobushi processing facility in Hithadhoo, Addu City
Authors: Adam, M. Shiham
Ahusan, Mohamed
Keywords: Project description
Project inputs and outputs
Legislative and policy considerations
Existing environmental conditions
Impact prediction and analysis
Mitigation impacts
Environmental monitoring
Stakeholder consultations
Issue Date: Dec-2015
Citation: Adam, M. S. & Ahusan, M. (2015). Environmental impact assessment (EIA) for establishment of a katsuobushi processiing facility in Hithadhoo, Addu City. Male': Maldives
Abstract: 1. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report carried out for proponent Yours Maldivian Addu Katsuobushi Pvt. Ltd. to develop and operate a katsuobushi plant on a leased plot of land from the RAF area of Hithadhoo Island, Addu City. The EIA is prepared as fulfilment of the requirement by the Ministry of Environment and Energy for granting permission for the Project. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of development projects is a requirement by the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act (EPPA) (law 4/93) of the Government of the Republic of Maldives. 2. This report has been prepared in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations published by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in 2012 and covers environmental and socio-economic impacts arising from the proposed project. Major findings of this report are based on data and information gathered during the field inspection of the existing environment. In addition, expert judgement and published literature were used to predict the possible impacts from the project. 3. The development project is located in the western side of the southern section of Hithadhoo Island, Addu Atoll. The plot is separated from the western beach by about 65m of coastal vegetation. Terrestrial vegetation around the plot area is a mix of salt and salinity tolerant trees and shrubs. The population of the Island is mostly concentrated to the northern end of the island while the southern end is sparsely inhabited resulting in an abundant. 4. Tuna to be processed will be sourced from the local fishermen. While only skipjack tuna will be used to make katsuobushi, other species in the catch (yellowfin tuna and small amounts of bigeye tuna) will also be purchased and processed into other products and marketed to the locals. This is in order to incentivize the fishermen to sell their catch to the proponent and ensure a steady supply of raw materials. 5. Pole-and-line tuna fishery of the Maldives exploits the wider Indian Ocean stocks, the management of which falls on the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). Maldives is a full member of IOTC and takes a lead role in promoting management of the Indian Ocean tuna stocks. Most recent assessments for skipjack tuna (2014) indicate that the skipjack tuna stock is being exploited at safe levels. However, 2015 assessment of yellowfin tuna stocks showed that the stock has been overfished and is being overfished. 6. The development project involves construction of a 100 by 100 feet processing facility, its supporting infrastructure and a staff accommodation block for the employees of the facility. All construction will use general construction materials such as cement, imported river sand and aggregate, deformed steel bars etc. Construction materials and crew will be transferred to, and waste removed from the facility via existing dirt roads. 7. Major waste stream from the factory would consist of organic waste (fish offal) and blood water from gutting and cleaning raw fish, domestic sewage diluted in flushed water and greywater from the staff accommodation block and ash from the smoking process. 8. Organic waste (consisting of viscera, cuttings, skin and bones) will be collected in leak proof containers and routinely removed from the facility before it becomes putrid. This will be disposed of in the sea by an external party during the first year and later used to make agricultural fertilizer. Blood water and water generated from cleaning the facility will be discharged onto the reef flat on the western side of the island. Septic tanks will be used for the treatment of domestic sewage and greywater from the accommodation block. 9. Assessment of the existing terrestrial environment in the vicinity of the site showed that the area consist of typical island vegetation except for a dominance of coconut palms (Cocos nucifera). Site of the project does not contain strong vegetation as it was cleared prior to leasing to the proponent. Small scale farming takes place in plots around the project site. 10. The island being located on the western atoll rim reef and the project site being located on the western side of the island, is in close proximity to the marine environment. The beach is exposed to strong swell waves originating in the Western Indian Ocean. Breaking of waves on the reef creates longshore currents which would allow almost instant mixing and dilution of effluent discharged. Benthic cover on the reef flat/lagoon showed a predominant abundance of seagrass and a lack of live corals and associated benthic fauna. 11. Minimal environmental impacts are predicted for the project. Key negative impacts include a transient deterioration of water quality at the effluent discharge site and likely deterioration of groundwater due to sewage from the accommodation block. Further, a localized reduction in air quality is expected due to gaseous (NOX) and particulate emissions from the smoking process. 12. The project is expected to have a number of positive impacts on the local economy and wellbeing of locals especially fishermen. Firstly, fishermen will be paid a competitive price for their catch in order to ensure a reliable supply of raw materials. The project will also open up employment opportunities for locals. Further, it will contribute to the local economy by outsourcing some aspects of the project such as waste disposal and sea transport of products to Male’ and contribute to government’s policy of value0addition of fishery catch.
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