Say No to Kelp Dredging

There is something quick that you can do today to help otters and other marine life and it won’t cost you a penny!

We have just a few days left before the Scottish Parliament consider a proposal by Mark Ruskell MSP to stop kelp dredging.  Write to your MSP before the 21st November 2018 and ask them to support Mark Ruskell’s proposal.

The email addresses for the MSPs for the Mull area are: Michael.Russell.msp@parliament.scot, Donald.Cameron.msp@parliament.scot, John.Finnie.msp@parliament.scot,Rhoda.Grant.msp@parliament.scot,   Edward.Mountain.msp@parliament.scot,David.Stewart.msp@parliament.scot,   Maree.Todd.msp@parliament.scot

A mechanical kelp dredger

It seems unbelievable that a company called Marine Biopolymers would like a license to mechanically pull up kelp from the roots across the entire west coast of Scotland.  That’s worth repeating – pull it up from the roots – so that the ecosystem disappears and will not recover for years.  Just look at the below map showing the areas being considered.

 

Otters are at the top of a fragile food chain that is highly dependent on kelp. It is where they find their food. All of the other creatures large and small would also be impacted with knock on impacts to the fishing industry and tourism. There will be fewer lobsters to catch for example, and probably less marine wildlife like otters, dolphins, porpoise, and sea birds for locals and tourists to enjoy.

Otter in Kelp

Painting by Susan Berry

Marine Biopolymers want to rip up the kelp and extract the chemicals from it for products like cosmetics. This would benefit one large company.  The economic benefit will not last long because the kelp will not recover fast enough.

Demand for seaweed is rising. There is potential for economic development in a much more sustainable way which could create lots of small businesses all over the west coast thereby benefiting lots of communities. Products that can be made range from skin care to seaweed popcorn!  Seaweed can be farmed, and harvested without pulling the stalk up from the roots. This is what the Scottish government should be supporting.

The proposal to stop kelp dredging has now reached “stage 3” and will be considered by the whole Scottish parliament on the 21st November.   More can be learned about the political process so far here.

Make sure that you also sign the on line petition.

Keep up to date on the issue on the No Kelp Dredging Facebook page.

Some news stories on the issue can be found below:

ITV NEWS: Sir David Attenborough demands MSPs protect ‘globally important’ kelp beds

The Guardian: Kelp dredging proposal criticised by Scottish conservationists

 

 

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