VICTOR HARBOR – For a second time, Victor Harbor’s seaside community rallied to show their opposition to a tuna tourist attraction coming to their coastline.
Hundreds took part in the paddle-out protest from the Victor Harbor Yacht Club, with people from all walks of life using surfboards, kayaks, sail boats and paddle boards to form a circle in the ocean.
Speaking at the protest Adelaide Sea Shepherd coordinator Geoff Cann said the conservation group was against the tuna cage proposal.
“We are against beautiful wild animals being put in a cage for human entertainment,” Mr Cann said.
One of the protest organisers Chris Kingston spoke to a few hundred people on the beach before the paddle out.
“It’s fantastic to have the support of sea shepherd behind all of this,” Mr Kingston said.
“We are all modestly successful because of this coastline. It has some of the best safe learner and intermediate coastline in the world and we don’t need to put massive signs up all over the town asking us to swim with the tuna.
“We do not want to swim with the tuna. Everyone has got their own reason against the tuna pen, from the use of animals for human entertainment, the damage to the environment, the damage to the picturesque view that we’re looking at, also the effect that it might have on the migrating whales and the effect on the penguins.
“The lovely people that ran the penguin centre for so many years, they went out on stress leave because neither Oceanic Victor, nor the state government, could not guarantee the island’s future.”
“There is also the size of the exclusion zone, they are going to take over a huge part of this bay, so you won’t be able to swim sail, paddle, fish in that area,” Mr Kingston said.
Mr Kingston is part of The Friends of the Encounter Coast, a group of about 12 local people who are spearheading the protest against Oceanic Victor.
Mr Kingston said as well as trying to stop the tuna pen, the group aims to become a community-based steering community to create a more suitable vision and brand for the region.
The group will voice their appeals at a directional hearing of the Environment, Resources and Development (ERD) Court on Monday, February 22.
The Oceanic Victor proposal was granted approval by the state Development Assessment Commission (DAC) on December 24 last year.
The first protest was held on January 10 and attracted about 1000 people, as water-goers paddled out from the Victor Harbor foreshore.