One of the many problems with mechanical harvesting of seaweed in Bantry Bay is that there is no base-line data (evidence of similar stuff that has been done before). In these circumstances, most sensible people use a "Precautionary approach', meaning, they make small changes, monitor and assess before making any more small changes. The Mechanical Harvesting in Bantry Bay is not this. Given that the sea floor and rocky outcrops are so uneven, how exactly do you think the boats are going to be able to ensure that each plant is cut to 25cm? (which, by the way, is not enough for the plant to survive and regenerate according to many specialists).
Business and industry has started to use the term 'sustainable' to justify its actions, even when they quite clearly cause imbalance in the natural environment. The global loss of habitat and species lets us all know that we have been doing so far is not sustainable. There is no measure of whether any action is sustainable or not as it is a projection into the future that cannot take into consideration unknown variables. Who could have known that the Great Barrier Reef would have been so badly damaged? Who was even thinking about it in their sustainability calculations?
We have to take action. Even then we have to consider the impact of our actions. Intentions are not enough. Evidence to support our actions is important. We are looking at historical, cultural and international approaches to seaweed management to ensure that we do the very best in our own local environment in a way that suits the culture and temperament and lifestyles of the people of our local community. We have a plan to regenerate ecosystems and economies to create the best opportunity for people. A precautionary approach towards the management of Irish seaweed that tries to regenerate the ecosystems and communities we have already damaged might just ensure there is something left for our future generations to feed their families with.
Please read the articles and join the conversation. People are passionate about this issue and we want to encourage awareness and debate about it. Please comment or record your views on video and tag them with @WildSeagarden or #SeaweedViews and we will look out for them and share them on social media. We need to get people talking about seaweed. This is a prime example of - 'before we know it, it will be too late...'
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