Thursday, 23 November 2017
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Seaweed Harvesting Licences
225. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the position regarding the licensing of mechanical harvesting of seaweed and kelp in the Bantry Bay area; and the policy in respect of mechanical harvesting of these resources by private companies. [49739/17]
The application to harvest seaweed in Bantry Bay was originally received in 2009, approved in principle in 2011 and the legal papers giving effect to the decision were completed in 2014. The licence requires the submission and approval of a detailed monitoring plan prior to the commencement of harvesting. The monitoring plan is under consideration in my Department at present.
The proposed rotational harvesting plan ensures that only a portion of the bay is harvested each year. To strengthen the sustainability of the harvesting plan for the licenced area within the bay, the harvesting will also be subject to a strict monitoring programme based on an associated baseline study. All costs associated with the baseline study and associated with the monitoring programme were or will be fully borne by the licensee.
All details of the application and determination are available on my Department’s website at .
Should an unacceptable impact on the environment be observed, I will have no hesitation in acting to modify/restrict harvest practices and schedules as necessary; this is provided for in the licence.
It is considered that valuable scientific information will become available from the monitoring programme. This in conjunction with other work and research will feed into future policy formation in the area of seaweed harvesting aimed towards the sustainable development of the seaweed industry.