Kelp catshark

Mechanical dredging of kelp in Scotland

MBL’s operation proposes to mechanically harvest up to 30,000 tonnes of kelp a year over a 20km2 area, with the use of specially built or re-purposed vessels. Kelp forests are among the most biologically diverse and valuable marine habitats on the planet, and are recognised as a Priority Marine Feature habitat within Scotland’s seas. The Scottish Government have an obligation to ensure that “Development and use of the marine environment must not result in significant impact on the national status of Priority Marine Features”, under the National Marine Plan, and the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 requires that decision makers should act in the way best calculated to further the achievement of sustainable development and use, including the protection and, where appropriate, enhancement of the health of the Scottish marine area. We strongly feel that MBL’s proposals to mechanically harvest wild kelp on the West Coast of Scotland will result in a significant negative impact to this habitat, and to the wider ecosystems of the West Coast.

Helped the kelp!

Young Ruaridh, sustainable seaweed harvesters like Ailsa McLellanUllapool Sea SaversSIFT, fishers, divers, eNGOs, scientists, and all who campaigned to protect our kelp forests are celebrating that the Scottish Parliament has passed the new Crown Estates Bill with an amendment that bans any form of mechanical kelp dredging that uproots whole plants. Coastal communities welcome Roseanna Cunningham’s announced review of marine licensing, including kelp harvesting, to ensure sustainability going forward.


You can sign the online petition here. 

Mechanical dredging for kelp in the news


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