Bertrams blog

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.