From the herald tribune on red tides causing illness from Inhalation.
An article about Seaweed removing toxins from the sea
Algal blooms produce neurotoxins – the algal blooms are linked to nutrient levels and temperature. This paper demonstrates testing for airbourne toxins and the results. This was near an algal bloom in the usa.
This is a very useful paper produced by the uk environmental agency – the author is approachable and easy to contact. – the links in the back of the document are a little old but useful. This is about developing seaweed harvesting along the northern ireland coast. This document has been edited since our first visit.
This is about Perus seaweed harvesting – it shows that perus waters were closed to seaweed harvesting in 2008. In january of this year several thousand seabirds and mammals were washed up on the Peruvian coast. Theories abounded but the one that held was death by starvation – due to the absence of the large shoals of anchovies that usualy abound there.
This article discusses the animal deaths – it is only that last section of the article that mentions starvation.
This is about the concern of fishermen in wellington new zealand about Dolphins and other animals starving to death – not from seaweed harvesting as it is done here in Norway, but simply from the removal of seaweed cast up by the storms – this may be an indication of what really happened in Peru
This is a very large document with links to individuals and organisations involved with seaweed worldwide – the papers are
mostly short summaries but are quite useful in finding out more about seaweed, its current state and how the industry regards it.
This is put out by the industry itself. I have put screen captures of the documents considered interesting in the photos section
of this website. Double click and the document should be readable.
link to screen captures
information about alginates and some of their uses. Lists how much alginate is available from per kilo of harvested plant dry weight (sugar kelp) – it is well over 30%
This article IN NORWEGIAN is about how fragile sugar kelp is – how it has largely dissapeared in the south and is damaged in the north
by sea urchins – it goes on to say how valuable it is as a habitat and how pollution and other factors are causing severe damage –
We believe the biggest factor in damaging the seaweed forest is undoubtedly tare tråling as it is on the Norwegian coast today.
The site from the seaweed harvesting industry in Norway – it says IN NORWEGIAN how the methods used in Norway to harvest seaweed do not pose a threat to wildlife or the ecosystem. It goes on to say that the effects of seaweed harvesting using the sleds is similar to the damage caused by storms
and is quickly restored to its former status. However it also admits that it takes several years for this to happen – OFFICIALY the beds are harvested before
anything like full growth occurs – it takes 7 to 10 years for this to heppen – FMC harvests the same patch every five years or less so that the epiphytes and other organisms which affect the production of alginate do not have time to reach maturity.
The FAO is an interesting organism – it has been responsible for some UNFORTUNATE environmental occurances which has led to humanitarian problems through its promotion of the utilisation of natural resources – The first page says it is concerned with the responsible and sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture worldwide.
This document by FAO is about how underutilised seaweed is worldwide and how much more we should be harvesting – it does not say anything about sustainability – it does mention Peru and goes on to say that Peru has undoubtedly large resources which are probably underutilised.
One important mechanical function of seaweed is wave damping – up to 80 plus percent through the beds – over it is a different matter, but it still has a major effect. This paper in NORWEGAIN comes up with figures. If you have coastal property which has recently been damaged by waves and taretråling has been occuing in your area then you should read this.
It’s all very well to complain about the predations of the seaweed trawlers but here is something positive about seaweed harvesting – some countries like south Korea grow as much as Norway harvests from the wild per year – this is about seaweed farming in Tanzania and Zanzibar.
This is a most interesting document as port of it details how the constant removal of seaweed can bring about a plague of sea urhins, much like what is happening in North Norway today – however we have had an assurance that this is not the case from a major researcher at the Runde meeting in 2012 – something caused it and the only unusual factor in the seaweed beds is the harvesting. The paper also goes on to talk about how much seaweed is harvested off the coast of Brittany – 70, to 80,000 tons per year – this arises the big question of what is the effect of the removal of so much material on the seaweed beds – if it affects the uptake of nutrients, would that have by chance anything to do with the huge influx of Ulva specis that has occured.
An article about the seaweed problem in Brittany
Sewage may be causing the problem but perhaps its really the fact that the seas ability to cope has been affected by the removal of seaweed.
A surprising article from Brazil on seaweed cultivating – it goes on to say that the coast was overharvested so much that the seaweed beds collapsed causing big problems for fishermen as the fish catches decreased – for people living on the edge of poverty this must have been hard. it says how they are cultivating the seaweed – it has become a cottage industry.
We have tried to find information on what exactly happened, but in spite of having good contacts with Brazilian marine biologists, all our contacts cease when we ask what happened!
TIPPING POINT – ECOLOGICAL COLLAPSE – these words are a bit extreme, our contacts in the marine biological world tell us that in the last 20 years there has been a powerful change in the status of the worlds seas – in the last 20 to 30 years the seaweed harvesting industry has really taken off – we know that seaweed removes nitrogen, phosphates and other substances – in particular poisons from the sea – could its removal by any chance have any effect??
This is a most useful document – it details seaweed harvesting off the french coast – it also goes on to say that in the harvested beds other specis of seaweed are beginning to dominate – no doubt the same specis that is causing the problem on the French beaches – so lets be clear on this – Brittany in particular has a huge problem with seaweed washed up on its shore – it has caused one death and possibly others, it has killed many larger animals by emitting a gas due to decomposition – the French government pays well over 100 million euros a year for the clean up and still they say its caused by pig farming.
This is about a eu sponsored organisation promoting the harvesting and even the cultivation of seaweed in europe. There is some mention of environmental issues but there seems to be little awareness of what is and has happened in countries where there has been unregulated harvesting.
We consider this document to be important in understanding some of the consequences of taretråling or seaweed dredging on the Norwegian coast. The Norwegian government seems to be unaware or possibly does not care of the possible and the allready happening consequences.
a brief summary of the portugese industry – very much lacking in detail but a very pretty document.
A study of the French seaweed harvesting industry – it mentions a contravention of the OSPAR agreement on dredging calcified seaweed and how this is supposed to stop in 2013 – it also makes a brief mention of the possible environmental consequences but it is clear that these issues take second place to the commercial ones. From the ue this is not good enough. We contacted a senior researcher Emma Udwin, who said she has passed our comments onto researchers at the environment commision so hopefully there will be some action there.
Dredging of calcified seaweed was carried out in the uk but this was stopped An interesting little article
This article is in Norwegian and talks about fmcs investment in its alginate producing plant at Karmøya – it mentions 3,000 kr per gram for the best alginates