Author: bertram

Havsforskningsinstituttet – Norways state owned sea research organization.

Just found a video on you tube – it is from the Havsforskningsinstituttet – essentially it says that they are going to do research on taretråling so they can tell if it has any effects on the environment and ecology.

It was posted 3 months ago.

What is so fascinating about this is that all the research has been done – in 2002 or earlier – the research they are talking about was discussed at length at the last taretråling meeting 2 years ago in Trondheim.  They told us then  they have all the results they need. We filmed the meeting too

Well so do we – we’ve read the documents.

However this is a little uncoordinated –

 

 

Current situation

Norways coast is being trawled for seaweed. Every part that can be trawled is being trawled.

We know that bottom trawling re distributes pollutants such as pcbs which are normally taken up by bottom sediment.

These pollutants are redistributed in the food chain and are ultimately ingested by us – these chemicals are cancer and other disorder causing.

We know that seaweed removes sediment from water and that the plants absorb dangerous chemicals – and many other pollutants including large amounts of nitrogen and co2.

The information on this is hidden behind simple statements such as “we only harvest .03% – there is so much that we cannot possibly make any difference and so forth. These statements cannot be verified – worse they are accepted by politicians and researchers without question.

However our seabirds are dying – many of the bird reserves that have been opened for trawling have empty colonies – we have 1 paper on the effects of seaweed trawling on cormorants (skarv) it says that after trawling the birds cannot survive because there is not enough food in the sea. There are no other papers we know of about. Possibly the main reason being negative publicity for the industry followed by restrictions on the type of research state organizations are allowed to undertake on grounds of economic influences.

Trawling in norway is undertaken by one company FMC biopolymers – it is part of an american corporation FMC corp that has received world record fines for fraud – pollution, price fixing cartels and worse. It is responsible for the manufacture of Carborufan or furadan one of the most environmently destructive insecticides ever produced – it has been used to decimate large predator populations such as lions, hyenas – birds of prey and other animals and yet the Norwegian state is happy to allow this one company a complete monopoly.

A year ago fmc proudly announced that every one of its seaweed trawlers would be fitted with tracking devices so that the controversial question of trawlers harvesting in areas closed to harvesting would be solved – to date 8 out of the 14 known trawlers have had this ais tracking fitted.  We are kept well informed by other organizations and individuals – so it is no surprise to learn that there has been alleged illegal harvesting in an area where the effluent from a factory processing radioactive material is known to flow – however we have been unable to verify this report.

There are 2 types of tracking. One is the standard marine tracking which all boats over a certain size have to have fitted – all the trawlers have this but it seems every one has turned it off so no public tracking is possible – the other system which cannot be turned off is only tracked by the fiskeriedirektoratet who are the regulating body.

We have caught one boat illegally fishing and in spite of attempts by the police to delay and subvert the process it was successful.

The second attempt by a colleague on the island of Runde is being bitterly fought by FMC biololymers who have denied the charge.

We have successfully managed to get the boats prosecuted under marine laws as the boats after harvesting are often grossly overloaded – this has led to a attack on one of our observers so it is quite clear it is having an effect. 

However the skippers and seamen involved should be grateful to us as those regulations are there to protect their lives – overloaded ships are dangerous to other ships and those onboard.  

The Beginning of the end??

The beginning of the end?

 

Some great news – Møre and Romsdal county have refused permission/stopped seaweed dredging in some sensitive areas on our coast.  Weather this is due to the letters and protests they received last year from individuals and organizations is not known.

http://www.nrk.no/mr/stenger-for-taretraling-1.12026051

 

 

headlines

but it is causing some discomfort in the industry.

 

Ole Damm Kvilhaug

Terje Halsteinsen – a senior figure in the fiskeriedirektoratet (here he is giving a speech at the meeting in Trondheim – the article is worth reading)     http://stopptt.com/final-day-of-the-trondheim-seaweed-harvesting-meeting/

says they have been doing this for years so they have no reason to suspect it is unsustainable.

 

Terje Halsteinsen adj

 

It is most interesting to read that they harvest 60, 000 tons in this area alone – but what the article does not mention is that to do this, officially they destroy 5 times that amount – that is 300,000 tons – we believe it is far more, but those are the official figures.  The figures for each harvesting area are between 15% and 80% removed – it does not take much to figure out that there are some interesting discrepancies here.

 

What we find hard to understand is that they are supposed to harvest so little – .03% but to do that they need the entire coast.

Areas of seaweed harvest  Map from Net algae – the eus report on the seaweed harvesting industry – they also sponsor some of it.

 

It is clear that our nature is being seriously affected by this industry with Bird colonies emptying where trawling takes place.  

 

Papers from serious institutions clearly say that the forests need between 6 to 9 years to reach former biodiversity, not the 5 or even 4 claimed – it is clear that the industry needs to have the areas harvested so frequently because they are conditioning the forests to have minimal epiphytes and fish life, but why the various state run bodies are supporting this is a mystery – they must know full well that sooner or later the degradation of our marine environment will become apparent and they will at best look incompetent – it is not difficult to find information about the deleterious effects of over harvesting by hand let alone by dredging.   Not to mention the re distribution of pcbs and other dangerous chemicals by disturbing bottom sediments and affecting their reabsorption, just as all bottom trawling does.

 

Bottom trawling pcbs etc  Click to read.

 

 

We hope and trust that other kommune up and down the coast begin to read the necessary articles themselves so they can come to a opinion based on scientific fact not so called scientific opinion from the havsforskningsinstitut and other state run organizations.

 

(thanks Jens)

 

 

 

Acidic seas from CO2

 

In the case of the effects of commercial seaweed harvesting it seems most experts are very careful to make statements that do the least harm. They dont want to cause ripples –

http://www.nrk.no/nordland/bekymret-for-surere-hav-1.11980978

Belona co2 in the seaclick on image to enlarge

so this article on the effects green house gasses are having on our seas is most alarming in that there is no mention of seaweed that i can see and yet Norway is busy destroying its seaweed beds as fast as it possibly can.

Destroying – that is the correct word. Where is the precedent for this.

Brazil – Chile – Peru – what happened there???

Why has chile, one of the worlds poorest countries banned seaweed harvesting in 2008?

Interestingly enough Japan as long ago as the early 1900s started cultivating seaweed because it found harvesting continuously, destroyed the seaweed beds.

Article on japanese seaweed harvesting.click to read

We asked Bellona (one of Norways major environmental groups) what they felt about seaweed trawling, but they were unable to comment because they were busy on a project working with fmc biolopymers – the company that taretråwls the coast.

This is currently the areas regulated by the fiskeriedirektoratet but Harvesting is ocurring in a much larger area with so called “test “Trawling.  In fact currently the entire coast where seaweed grows in sufficient amounts to support the industry.

Map from the fiskeriedirektoratets website of trawling areas .

Areas of trawling

 

Even though FMC biopolymers say they only take 0.03% of the available amount it seems strange that they require such a large area to do so – it also seems strange that as officially each area looses between 15 and 80% of its seaweed from harvesting this figure is still adhered to.

 

 

 

 

 Are we really  doomed to repeat history because our researchers are not looking i the right places (to please our polititians?)  If i can find the information – so can they)

As a result the organizations responsible for regulating the harvest do not have enough information to call a halt either.

(how do i know this??? Ive asked them.)

when the esteemed scientists telling us our seas are becoming too acid through carbon dioxide absorption finally add seaweed harvesting to the list of causes it may be far too late.

 

 

Environmental activism.

Part of Environmental activism is about following closely the activities of your target and logging their activities, then contacting the authorities and using the law to prosecute any infringement of the environment you think may be taking place.

Any company operating in the environment should be happy for you to do this as it would be a clear bonus to them if they are found to be operating legally, it also sharpens managers and operatives so they are more aware.  This is a plus on every side.

If they are doing something illegal it will sooner or later cost them far more when the environmental damage or in this case overloading comes to light in an disastrous way.

This is what a laden taretråwler looks like – we felt it was dangerous so we reported it to the

Sjøfartsdirektoratet  in Ålesund complete with videos, time, and geographical information.  A prosecution ensued.

 

overladen tt.jpg covered click to enlarge.

This is what an unladen taretråwler looks like

Unladen name coveredclick to enlarge.

 

The address is

Sjøfartsdirektoratet Ålesund

Kongensgate 25

6002 Ålesund

 

For more details contact us at 95093533

 

 

How can you do something constructive to help?

Taretråling is conducted by a Norwegian run, American owned company – They have every freedom needed to operate a massive seaweed trawling business on the coast, however there are limits regulated by the Directorate of Fisheries.  These limits are supposed to conserve some of the wildlife otherwise destroyed by the trawlers activities so it is vital they are adhered to.

These limits are set out here  http://www.fiskeridir.no/

Fiskeriedir home page

Click on the photo to read

The page concerned is marked with an arrow and underlined

On that page you will see this

Taretrålingfelt

Click on photo to read

 

click on tare høstefelt and you will have the areas where taretråling, or seaweed trawling is allowed.

Høstefeldt selected

when the map has been selected you can use the mouse wheel to enlarge the picture such as here, you can also left click and hold down to drag the map across the screen to expose new areas.

Taretråling areas marked

Click to enlarge

 

The hatched areas are where they are allowed to harvest.  The code in each area signifies the year they are allowed to harvest in that area.

so for instance a trawler fishing in the hatched area on this map would be harvesting legally – in the clear or unhatched area – ilegaly and thus subject to fines and other penalties.

Lower boundary of permission

Click to enlarge

 

If the boats are fishing in the areas marked as non fishing zones you will require video or photographs and clear land or sea marks so the position can be clearly triangulated.

We have successfully managed a prosecution because we had a line of markers clearly in our video – on one side it was legal, on the other illegal.

Once you have this information you need to contact the fiskeriedirektoratet

fiskeriedir kontact

Click to enlarge

 

 

 

contacts with other groups. TAKING CHARGE.

Slowly the quality and quantity of contacts with other organizations are growing.

The most important part of Environmentalism is information and its free use.  Once you have understood where and how your contacts stand then some really useful work can begin.

An article in Miljøvernforbunds https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Warriors_of_Norway                                                                                                                       magazine MILJØ MAGASINET

miljø adj

was pointed out to us – It was about seaweed tråwling or taretråling – one of the major points was that large amounts of seabirds disappear when Taretråling is done in the area – permanently too it seems.

Taretråling adj

 

We have contacted  the Norwegian ornithological organization http://www.birdlife.no/   about this but they dont seem to be interested – weve spoken to many major ornithologists but their attitude seems to be – “WE ARE THE EXPERTS , AND WE DONT SEE ANYTHING UNUSUAL.”      In other words they own the ornithological world and what they say goes.

It seems that the same is happening here http://www.nrk.no/nordland/mener-seismikkskyting-er-ufarlig-1.11943947

snip nrk article  click for enlargement

An expert from the havasforsknings institut of Norway has said that there is no evidence that seismic testing affects sealife – so many people have been doing internet research and come up with very prestigious articles to the contrary .  It seems that Havsforsknings institut thinks they own information and can interpret it how they like to influence such matters.

commentsclick to read

This is just my comments but there are beginning to be many more with links –

In the scientific world it is reputation that is the most important thing  – our marine biologists and scientists are aware of this – it must be very frightening to have to please 2 masters at the same time.

More on Trawling.

Here is an article in Norwegian on Trawling – (from Jens)

havsforsknings institut tråling  click on image for full size

http://www.imr.no/temasider/redskap_og_teknologi/tral/bunntral/bunntraling/miljoeffektar_av_botntraling/nb-no   article in full.

What i find most interesting about this is the difference in the information in this article and this one – this is very short and just a little part of a much larger piece

 

More sediments from tråling

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749112003284%20%20%20This%20is%20a%20report%20on%20just%20this.

It is almost as if the information is being filtered.  Now who would benefit from that?

Bottom Trawling

Following the various debates on trawling it is clear that Norway has a 20 kilometer zone inside which no bottom trawling is allowed.

The details i have not been able to firmly ascertain but reading the wikipedia article on trawling some things begin to make sense

Wiki sedimentsDouble click on image to enlarge.

 

One major effect of bottom dredging is the disturbance of sediments

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=7751&src=ve

The re suspension of sediments means the release of chemicals back into nature

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749112003284   This is a report on just this.

sediments - pcbs Double click to read snip

We have nothing on the effects of continual trawling in the seaweed beds but i cannot imagine there is a major difference here – this occurs along the entire coast including bird reserves.

Could this be why  it is illegal to land blue halibut from Bodæ to Lofoten, or outside of Lofoten – they are contaminated by pcbs, but nobody seems to be aware of where these chemicals come from.

http://www.nrk.no/nordland/stenger-omrade-for-blakveitefiske-1.8139255

Blåkveite fisking stengtdouble click to read

 

Norway is a country well aware of any major marine disturbance so why is this allowed –

perhaps this article may give some answers

http://www.dagbladet.no/2009/05/07/nyheter/miljo/krill/antarktis/hav/6102884/

 

We also found some anomalies at the last meeting on Taretråling in Trondheim – there seems to be some confusion about the rights of these trawlers

Final day of the Trondheim seaweed harvesting Meeting.

It seems even the most senior in the fiskeriedirektoratet whose job it is to regulate the activities of these boats are more interested in protecting their activities then they are in regulating them.    http://www.fiskeridir.no/om-oss/telefon-og-e-post-til-ansatte/ressursavdelingen/reguleringsseksjonen/terje-halsteinsen

Seems strange that ordinary trawlers have such strict regulations whereas Seaweed trawlers have every difficulty removed, including priority over ancient rights belonging to our fishermen.

It appears many of Norways major institutions are governed by industrialists involved with exploiting marine resources.  This is quite understandable and in fact common – however the cost in terms of health to individuals and the state and indeed the ultimate cost should their activities impact nature in the way we are all warned about would dwarf any benefit accrued to society or to the individuals concerned.

 

 

Seaweed harvesting – information problems

Over the last few years i have been studying seaweed and its harvesting worldwide on the internet.

A number of things stand out very clearly through contacts with universities, businesses the scientists concerned and many state and private organizations involved with marine protection and welfare –

 

 

The first is that there is no coordinated information on seaweed harvesting, its effects and worldwide activities.

 

Some of the state organizations are amazingly ill informed.

There seems to be no information on the effects of over harvesting, and very little historical data.

 

Universities and researchers seem to be so focused on parts of their particular subject that they seem to be completely unaware of major issues directly concerned with their subject coming from other major research institutions and organizations freely available on the internet. Many research subjects are duplicated.

 

Research is dependent on complete openness and honesty – good researchers rely on status and qualifications. If facts and figures are called into doubt then the credulity of the scientists involved is also called into doubt – status is very important.

 

The scientific world is extremely conservative in outlook and approach – whilst this is a plus for integrity it is open to exploitation.

Information is easy to control as it relies on funding, many of the Norwegian state funded research institutions have industrialists sitting on their boards.

Most environmental problems seem to be involved with business in one way or another.

 

The penalties for withholding information or falsifying information seem to be very minor. Any large concern caught lying can carry on with business as normal.

 

Public outlook and awareness is exploited by organizations and businesses involved with marine harvesting to cover up the effects of their activities.