Author: bertram

The worlds worst pollution – and its connected to Taretråling.

The Truth about Fluoro chemicals Taretråling and Dupont.

We all have used fluorine based chemicals.

They cover our frying pans, our clothes,shoes, and are in every walk of life.

Names like Gor tex, Teflon, Tefal. It is even used on dental floss by such companies as Jordan

The most commonly used is called polytetrafleuroethaline P.T.F.E.

Hidden beneath is a mountain of evidence showing how harmful and dangerous these substances are.

The most outrageous thing is that we have been fooled into using PTFE in situations where it is heated – very few know that if PTFE is overheated it gives off a gas which is in section 2 of the chemical weapons register – it is well known however in the skiing and electronics industry and has been banned, but not yet on cookware. (Perhaps because the income is so enormous?)

The gas is called PERFLEUROISOBUTENE (P.F.I.B.)

The way with which we have been duped is sickening, especially as PTFE is also used in firefighting and on firemens uniforms

These chemicals were introduced by Dupont company.

In the last 20 years research has shown that these chemicals are in our drinking water, rain water, plants, trees and foods In fact 98% of those tested also have it in their blood.

Dupont knew that the chemicals were deadly and caused numerous illnesses and disease – here is an extract from an article by Dr Mercola

The attorney further found documentation showing that for four decades, 3M and DuPont had conducted secret medical studies, revealing potential health problems in rats and rabbits as early as 1961. Thus far, more than 3,500 individuals have sued DuPont for damages.

A panel of scientists convened to determine the chemicals’ effect on human health, resulting in more than three dozen peer-reviewed papers finding PFOA chemicals are linked to ulcerative colitis, pregnancy-induced hypertension, thyroid disease and testicular and kidney cancers.13

Weight Management Efforts Impacted by Your Choice of Cookware

While those living in the Ohio Valley suffer an increased risk of these health conditions, levels of PFOAs in your tap water, stain-repellent clothing and furniture, and absorbed from your nonstick pans may be enough to trigger weight management problems. A recent study linked perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a close cousin to PFOAs, to weight gain and obesity.14 Previous studies have associated the chemicals with immune dysregulation, hormone disruption and cancers.

Dupont is involved primarily with defence, in fact it is so succesful that it has been forced to sell of some of its interests to avoid americas monopoly laws.

One of the other industries it is involved with is the destruction of our seaweed forests yes Dupont is a major player in TARETRÅLING.

Most are unconcerned about Taretråling because it is supposedly well regulated by the havsforskningsinstitut, and has been going on the Norwegian coast for over 60 years.

Having spent many years studying the industry and all it involves there are some serious questions which need answering.

Not least, why is Norways tareskog disappearing?

It cant be temperature because the seaweed forests in the uk are as normal – even in portugal.

Taretråling is conducted by dragging a 3 meter wide steel sled through the seaweed forest, this is connected to an enormously powerful specially constructed trawler.

This rips up the plants but damages and destroys 2 times more plants on average than are harvested.

This is from a Irish state paper.

the paper

This is what it says about Taretråling (mechanical seaweed harvesting with a trawler)

the paper goes on to say that many of the Norwegian scientific reports are biased in favour of the industry and so cannot be relied on.

It is interesting to note that an attempt to introduce taretråling in scotland was met by a massive protest. Even David Attenborough joined in with a letter to the times in protest.

Similarly a massive protest against harvesting in southern ireland – that has been stopped but is still going through the judicial system.

There is no question of taretråling in Northern ireland because of a study in 2007 which said this

Formalin tank at Smørholm

All the harvested Tare has to be sprayed with this, otherwise the deadly poisonous gas Hydrogen sulphide is released – the smell of which we all know from rotting seaweed.

This is also released in the sea. Many animals cannot tolerate the poison and so leave the area.

This paper written by Svein – Håkon Lauritzen among others makes a strong note.

This is of importance because gaddids – the cod fish family, eat seaurchins.

Some 2000 sq km of seaweed forests above Trondheim were found to have disappeared in 2000. The area had become a seafloor desert occupied by seaurchins.

Since this is the only paper detailing this we have found it is also safe to assume that other fish are also effected..

Worse still the Leppefisk industry for salmon farming is responsible for removing vast numbers of these fish – they also eat seaurchins.

As taretråling occurs in bird reserves and many of those birds rely on fish it is sensible to assume that the industry has led to a serious decline in numbers

It is important for people to know every accommodation is made for the tt by the state even allowing them acess to bird reserves in spite of the above.

Essentially it looks very much like the damaged stortare left behind is responsible for removing many of the major seaurchin predators by slowly releasing poisons.

During the lectures we have held with Dupont at the molde museum this was bought up.

Harald Bredahl for Dupont said not only had he never heard of defence chemicals in seaweeds but he discussed this with senior marine Biologist Henning Steen from the Havsforskningsinstitut who said he had never heard of this either.

Being well aware of the status of the 2 individuals concerned and the importance of the issue we found many papers on chemical defenses of seaweeds – this is most distressing as these people are responsible for the health of our coast.

We have been involved with trying to stop Taretråling for many years.

Having read many papers from N.I.N.A – Havsforskningsinstitut – and others they all have one thing in common – they say that the forests do not return to their former biodiversity for between 6 to 9 years. The harvesting cycle has been in many parts of Norway every 4th year

As the only deppo taking in seaweed for the Alginate industry is near Karmøy it is contrary for good business practice to transport raw material further than necessary, financially and environmentally. Therefore we must assume there is a good reason for this. The only one that comes to mind is that the seaweed forests on the coast of norway are too damaged to support the industry.

Map of Taretråling zones from the fiskeriedirektoratet.

We have had some successes with a prosecution for illegal fishing.

In 2018 and 19 we held lectures on TT in the molde museum and in 2020 we held a lecture on zoom about fleuro chemicals. Both were part of the Molde Clima festival.

We also produce brochures detailing the dangers of tt and fluoro chemicals.

films – they are currently on Youtube

It is quite clear that hidden truths about both Taretråling and the production and use of fleuro chemicals are showing signs of being discovered with articles in most of Norways daily papers and indeed the worlds press about the most significant and dangerous pollution ever.

Currently we are also engaged with writing a book and a play both of which are nearing completion.

We also run a website called

We are BertramSømme and Friends.



Salmon farming, run by impatient children?


It says nearly every 4th fish dies in the nets at its worst.

It is easy to think of fish as – what,nothing – unfeeling, just responding so stimulus like machine.

I guess that makes it easier to eat, or fish.  But they are animals, they play just like all animals, they feel and they feel distress

just like us and all animals.

Consider, every type of agriculture on land has to have certain things in place for it to work.  Growing medium, fertilizer or in the case of animals feed, oxygen, suitable conditions – extraction of waste products, control of pests.

Not fish rearing.

Thats why its so lucrative and thats why its wrong in every way.

These fish are subject to continuous attack from fish lice, the fish lice attacks lead to fungal infections and so the fish are slowly eaten alive.

Some just die, others die from one of the many diseases that have been bought about by the industry itself, yet others die from the treatment for these diseases and lice treatments.

Its not the fault of  the fish lice – they are a perfect part of nature, its just that they were not designed by nature with salmon farming in mind.

Just like on land, vast amounts of pests gather where crops are sown because their job in nature is to keep the numbers down, by doing this they also keep their target species healthy as the weak and sickly are selected first———————— thats nature.

The article says Totalt døydde 92,3 millionar laksar og 5,6 millionar regnbogeaure i fjor.

In toto 92.3 million salmon and 5.6 million rainbow trout died.

Edgar Brun leader of the vetrinary institut responsible for animal welfare says this

“Meiner du at næringa ikkje er vaksen og ansvarleg nok?

– Ja, eigentleg. Ungdommar gjer mykje rart. Men næringa byrjar å bli vaksen og då må me forventa større ansvar for fiskens helse og velferd.”

“do you mean that the industry is not grown up?  Yes apparently.  Children do many strange things.  But the industry had better grow up, they must also have more responsibility fro the fishes health and welfare.”

Comparing the industries leaders to undisciplined children seems fair – production above all, including the welfare of the industry

This is how many industries concerning the sea are run – seaweed trawling is riddled by lies and deciets – the destruction of the seaweed beds and marine life along the coast of Norway after seaweed trawling is quite obvious – the same with salmon farming and now cod farming.

If one studies pollution world wide it is surprising how much has its origins in the usa – rephrase that, how much of it has its origins with American companies.

It is almost as if business is a sport, the winner is the one past the post with the most prestige(money) and EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A WINNER?

Business and its regulation is designed so the company and executives can get away with releasing horrible toxins, or products that lead to the release of those toxins.  Seemingly it doesent matter how many people die or get the most horrendous illnesses , even though those people are the ones that enable the “game” to continue by being customers.

We are part of nature, nature is in us and part of us – we are not separate therefore we should have the imagination to understand the suffering of these poor fish and the rest of nature and to stop it.

Cleaner fish. 6 species taken from the wild for salmon farming because they eat fish lice.

In the 60and 70s i used to catch wrasse on the south west coast of england.

Always in the seaweed, and more often than not with the most beautiful markings and colours.

But there was a strange thing, they had teeth in their throats as well as in their mouths.  The teeth were on plates, presumably 2 plates worked against each other to grind things up.

I later learnt that indeed they were just for this.

Their food includes crabs,shrimps,hermit crabs, shellfish— and seaurchins. ( the destruction of the Norwegian seaweed forests are mainly attributed to seaurchins)

Of course it also includes fish lice this is why they are so important to the salmon farming industry.

Along the the coasts of many countries in europe and many other lands there is now a massive fishery for those fish. ( and other species)

They are caught live and transferred to the salmon pens where they live for up to 6 months before dying.  In other words there is a concerted effort to wipe out these species.

i have read a number of papers on wrasse, they hint that some species are territorial and are in fact gardeners.  That is they care for their patch by removing herbivores, and species of seaweeds they dont like.  Herbivores would include seaurchins.

Serious information seems remarkably difficult to come across – the question is why?

Here is a snippet from a  reply to a request for information to the scottish government concerning wrasse for the wrasse fishery.

It is dated 2019

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this contract is to inform Scottish Natural Heritage’s views and build our
evidence base on the biodiversity implications of the fishery for cleaner fish , focusing on
the relevant protected sites and species. This will enable us to develop appropriate
advice on activities affecting features and relevant management measures in an area
which is currently data poor and consequently poorly understood. The contract will also
inform our thinking on the need to include cleaner fish species in the monitoring of the
MPA Network and enable SNH to assess the feasibility of this and develop appropriate
methodologies. The output from this project will also feed into wider work relating to
inshore fish species and support the Scottish Government inshore fisheries strategy


In other words THEY DONT KNOW what effects cleaner fish (wrasse) have on the ecology and what effects removing such a large number of fish will have in totto – several years after the fishery started.

This is what the Norwegian havsforskningsinstitut has to say –

Forskere og fiskere har samarbeidet for å finne ut hvordan man kan gjøre leppefisket mer bærekraftig. Svaret kan finnes på dypet.

The leading sentence says – fishermen and researchers work together to see how one can make (lip fish – wrasse have big lips) leppefiskeriet

more sustainable – the answer is found in the deep.

In other words the answer to a more sustainable fishery is to catch more –

There are several more articles in the same vein – some more information on the fish themselves but it is fragmentary.

But here is one reinforcing the standpoint of this article

This involves many countries and has this to say  –

This project, and report, was initiated by researchers at the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and builds upon several years of scientific work linked to the biology, fisheries and use of wild wrasse and lumpfish. Interactions with colleagues from Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and the United Kingdom highlighted critical knowledge gaps which must be addressed to achieve sustainable fisheries of cleaner fish with minimal negative environmental impacts. Funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers enabled us to establish the present network of scientists and managers. Key topics were identified and discussed in meetings and workshops during the project period.

Again merely reinforcing the standpoint of this article that not enough research has been done, and this fishery has been ongoing since 2010 in Norway.

Question – does this show a disregard for the environment in spite of the current issues, that can be laid squarely at the door of big business?

An article from the Norwegian press

150,000 cleaner fish die every day, it is a animal tragedy without parallel.

This is not limited to Norway, but every country with salmon farming.

This is not sensible utilization of a natural resource.  If we want our seas to be a resource for future generations we have to do far better than this – Perhaps our research organizations are too close to industry  and our politicians are desperate to please the same.




M.A.D.E. New book.

During the last 25 odd years  ive been harvesting and reading material concerning – yes very concerning – pollution and those companies that willingly produce it.

The pollution concerns of course nature but it also concerns us, inside,the stuff that is poisoning us to the benefit of a company/corporation.

As this is such a wide subject ive narrowed it to the 2 that are involved with destroying the marine environment by seaweed trawling.

Dupont and FMC.

First details of some of the pollution and chemicals produced by the two – a study of PTFE (teflon dupont) which affects nearly all of humanity – there never has been any pollution like this – a study of the worlds most deadly insecticide Carbofuran or Furadan (FMC) how it seriously affected a small community in the us and worldwide.

The book includes the involvement of the EU – by giving enormous grants for seaweed harvesting, by sponsoring websites advocating the changing of laws to enable this industry and more.

A critique of the Norwegian havsforskings institut and some of the senior marine biologists working there – including a critique of several research papers – also many from other countries.

A study of why seaweed trawling is so destructive and the connivance of marine biologists in ensuring the industry continues.

A study of captive regulation and how it affects us on a local and international level and how pr agencies and politicians are bound up in this

There is a great deal more but final editing is under way and hopefully it will be released soon.


Incidentally, the title is a joke, because this is so serious that its laughable.

MADE comes from Much ADo about Everything which is inspired by the play much ado about  Nothing by Shakespeare – if you want to know why i chose that – read it.

No take zones – is this the future for fisheries?

This is a section taken from the Scottish parliament debate on no take zones – the effect is clearly massive.

Similar results have come from all over the world – consider something so utterly simple –

you completely ban fishing of all kinds in areas attractive to marine organisms – as a result production in those areas boom – the effects spread outwards and other areas nearby also begin to blossom.  Result everyone pleased.

However the key is NO FISHING – if you begin to analyse that it comes down to money – you have a big boat, you have a lot of bills.  If you cant pay them you loose your boat – however the activities of the boat have a serious effect on marine environments so naturally harvesting becomes more difficult eventually leading to a desert which benefits no one.   And all to pay the bills.

Consider a large trawler which does not put down its nets unless the catch has a value of more than £20,000 – that is not in any way or sense anything other than environmental vandalism, however the number of boats in this class is massive.

This is a snip from the full Scottish parliament report initially posted on facebook by



No-take Zones

  • The Deputy Presiding Officer (Christine Grahame):

    The final item of business is a members’ business debate on motion S5M-22945, in the name of Kenneth Gibson, on establishing new no-take zones. The debate will be concluded without any question being put.

    Motion moved,

    That the Parliament congratulates everyone involved on the success of the Lamlash Bay No Take Zone (NTZ); notes that a NTZ is an area of sea and seabed from which no fish or shellfish can be taken, including from the shore area; commends what it considers the excellent work carried out by the Community of Arran Seabed Trust to protect and restore the marine environment and ultimately sustain the livelihood of those dependent on fishing and tourism; recognises the positive impact of NTZs on seabed biodiversity and the size, fertility and abundance of commercial species in adjacent areas due to overspill from healthy NTZs; acknowledges what it sees as the success of NTZs internationally, such as in New Zealand, the Isle of Man’s Ramsey Bay and the Green Zones of the Great Barrier Reef; acknowledges what it considers the importance of creating and maintaining a sustainable approach to fishing, and notes the calls on the Scottish Government to consider the establishment of new NTZs in other marine areas at risk of human overexploitation.

  • Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP):

    I thank Scottish National Party, Labour, Green and Independent colleagues for supporting my motion to enable tonight’s debate to take place; colleagues who have stayed to listen to the debate after many delays this afternoon; and Howard Wood and Jenny Stark from the Community of Arran Seabed Trust—COAST—for their excellent briefing.

    On 3 December, the Scottish Government announced the designation of 12 new special protection areas and four marine protected areas in our seas. The fact that 37 per cent of Scottish seas will now be covered by the Scottish MPA network was welcomed by environmentalists. NatureScot said that the announcement marked “significant progress” towards Scotland’s marine conservation ambitions and is a positive step towards a “nature-rich future”.

    Why is that important? An estimated 3.2 billion people rely on fish for almost a fifth of their protein intake, and yet, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 90 per cent of fish stocks worldwide are either fully fished or overfished at biologically unsustainable levels. Chronic overfishing has seen a depletion in biodiversity, which in turn has led to conditions in which commercially viable fishing cannot thrive.

    The Firth of Clyde provides a prime example of a place where fishing was central to the economy for centuries. Before the industrial revolution, the firth enjoyed an abundance of species: huge herring shoals attracted cod, turbot, monkfish and sharks to the area. Fishing boomed and technological advances meant that, by the 1940s, fishermen were catching more than 40,000 tons of herring annually.

    Practices became more intensive and more destructive, relying increasingly on trawling to remain commercially viable. By the early 2000s, the Firth of Clyde was on the verge of becoming a “marine desert” and the entire ecosystem was in jeopardy, with nephrops now the main fishery. That decimation of the Clyde’s biodiversity, a tragedy in itself, was also devastating to Scottish fishing. Jobs were lost, boats were decommissioned and the industry is now a shadow of its former self.

    MPAs are hugely important. Unfortunately, they can vary wildly in effectiveness and, alone, they will not restore and sustain marine biodiversity. The use of high-intensity fishing vessels, capable of catching hundreds of tonnes of fish a day, is not forbidden by MPAs. Although there must of course be a place for sustainable pelagic fishing, we must combat biodiversity loss.

    A no-take zone is an area of sea and seabed from which no fish or shellfish can be taken, including from the shore area. The Lamlash Bay no-take zone was the first community-led marine reserve of its kind in Scotland when it was established in 2008. At a modest 2.67km2, it was the result of 13 years of campaigning by COAST, which I enthusiastically supported; it was also supported by Richard Lochhead, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment at the time, who delivered it.

    Lamlash Bay was, and is, an excellent location for a no-take zone, being home to one of the largest maerl beds in Scotland. Maerl is an ideal habitat for small species, which can easily find food and hide from larger predators. However, Lamlash Bay is by no means unique in its ability to benefit from a no-take zone. All around Scotland, there are marine areas abounding in natural beauty that are at severe risk of human overexploitation.

    No-take zones are by far the most effective type of MPA and they increase conservation benefits hugely. A study in biodiversity conservation at the University of Tasmania found that MPAs often fail to reach their full potential due to factors such as illegal harvesting; regulations that also allow detrimental legal fishing; and the migration of sea creatures outside boundaries because of inadequate reserve size.

    MPAs are most effective when they are well enforced, upwards of 100km2 , and isolated by deep water or sand, and when they are well established, which can take years. For an MPA to be successful, a vital feature is that it either is a substantial no-take zone or contains such zones, where flora and fauna cannot be removed. Internationally, no-take zones are increasing in number, aiding both marine biodiversity and resilience to climate change.

    Australia’s green zones previously made up just 5 per cent of the great barrier reef MPA, but now cover more than a third of it. Green zones have improved biodiversity and are home to a huge variety of organisms, including many rare, vulnerable and endangered species. Since the 1980s, coral trout biomass has more than doubled and the trout are larger and more abundant than those in general-use blue zones.

    Evidence following tropical cyclone Hamish, which hit the reef in 2009, suggests that large, reproductively mature coral trout in green zones are also more resilient to the effects of natural disasters. Recreational activities such as boating, snorkelling and diving are allowed, but fishing and coral collecting are entirely prohibited.

    Other international examples show the potential of no-take zones to restore ecosystems to a more complex and resilient state. The Palau islands’ national marine sanctuary, which covers 80 per cent of Palau’s national waters, was described at this year’s UN ocean conference as

    “one of the world’s most ambitious ocean conservation initiatives”.

    At 475,077km2, the fully protected area is six times Scotland’s entire land mass and nearly 178,000 times larger than Lamlash Bay’s no-take zone.

    Palau’s waters host more than 1,300 species of fish and more than 400 species of hard coral. Since the sanctuary was established in 2015, regulations have been phased in to combat illegal fishing. The impact of the no-take zone was evident as early as 2017. Protected waters had twice the number of fish and five times as many predatory fish as those that were not protected. As a key food source for other predators, a healthy fish population is an excellent indication of a thriving ecosystem. The sanctuary came fully into effect on 1 January 2020. Palau is a nation of only 18,000 people, but it has big ambitions.

    The Isle of Man’s Ramsey Bay was designated the island’s first marine nature reserve in October 2011, and there are now 10 designated marine reserves around the island, accounting for 10.8 per cent of Manx waters. Ramsey Bay reserve covers around 95km2, divided into zones. About half of it is highly protected, with no commercial fishing permitted. The zones are coupled with a fisheries management zone that is co-managed by the Manx Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture and the Manx Fish Producers Organisation. That innovative approach means that sustainable fishing can continue around no-take zones and the commercial benefits can be enjoyed responsibly.

    On Arran, I have seen at first hand the work done by COAST to combat biodiversity loss. Since the Lamlash Bay no-take zone was designated, monitoring scientists have recorded double the number of living organisms on the seabed in comparison with adjacent fished areas. Of particular success has been the recovery of commercial species such as scallops and lobsters, populations of which have increased significantly in size and abundance in the no-take zone.

    A study in February found that there are nearly four times as many king scallops as there were in 2010, and the size and number of both adults and juveniles has grown. The scallops also have significantly increased fertility compared with those from outside the no-take zone and produce as many young scallops as fishing grounds that are more than 20 times larger.

    Further, the population of European lobsters is quadruple the 2010 population, and the lobsters are much larger and more fertile, with the potential to produce up to 100 times more eggs than before the no-take zone was established. Those benefits are felt not only in Lamlash Bay; studies show that there is evidence of lobster spillover into surrounding areas. Just last week, almost 2 miles outside the zone, a local creel fisherman legally landed a lobster that had been tagged in the no-take zone in 2018.

    Research demonstrates that COAST’s conservation efforts have been successful from a social, as well as an ecological, standpoint. A poll of more than 300 residents of and visitors to Arran showed awareness at 95.2 per cent, which is an increase of 23.5 per cent on 2011, and support was very high at 97 per cent.

    Arran residents and businesses consider research undertaken in Lamlash Bay to be “very important” economically, which is unsurprising given that marine reserves enhance local fisheries and create jobs and new incomes through eco-tourism. Arran residents were also more optimistic about the health of their local seas compared with the Scottish average in a recent national poll carried out by Marine Scotland.

    New MPAs are very welcome, and they are important in combating biodiversity loss. However, they do not negate the necessity of further measures.

    Lamlash Bay and the international examples that I have given show the hugely positive impact that no-take zones can have on the surrounding environment, as well as on the potential for sustainable commercial fishing. I therefore urge the Government to look closely at what the Lamlash Bay no-take zone has achieved and at the excellent work done by COAST to see how that success can be replicated, with community support and engagement, in many other locations in Scotland’s waters.


  • Claudia Beamish (South Scotland) (Lab):

    My thanks go to Kenneth Gibson for lodging the motion for debate. With or without Government acknowledgement, we are in the midst of a climate and nature emergency, and it has been my constant concern that the marine environment is neglected in the conversation.

    The international examples that Kenneth Gibson highlighted are valuable. Lamlash Bay is, indeed, a shining example of community empowerment and environmentalism. Howard Wood and COAST have my utmost respect.

    I found it inspirational to visit the bay with Howard several years ago. The visit was a wake-up call for me. Seeing COAST’s video of sea bed regeneration honed my commitment to the work for a sustainable future for our coastal communities, based on the need to protect and enhance our inshore marine environment.

    As we will no doubt hear later in the debate, the results of the highest level of marine protection show a dramatic return of nature when exploitative and extractive activities are removed. Precious and iconic Scottish species such as pretty pink maerl beds are able to thrive. As we heard from Kenneth Gibson, juvenile fish such as cod and whiting and other small species are given protection by the lush sea bed.

    It is the very withdrawal of our impact that leads to increased biodiversity and abundance, and the development of a healthier sea bed. Those benefit the fishing communities working legally around the no-take zone, as the abundance spills over and stocks are at more sustainable levels. Marine wildlife rebounds and the ocean is allowed the space and time to recharge that it is denied by commercial fishing levels in some areas.

    It is senseless not to apply those lessons to the broader spatial management of our seas if we want a thriving and sustainable fishing sector. The Government is under a legal duty to properly implement MPAs and their management measures, and to apply the national marine plan duties to improve fisheries decision making.

    The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s report on regional marine plans will be out soon. I am sure that the minister will take careful note of that report and of how vital it is that everyone—all the sectors and the communities that are involved—works together as we shape our future—[Inaudible.].

    As Open Seas pointed out in its briefing, the Government is failing to meet its duties, as proven by the leaked NatureScot report that shows losses in vital marine habitat.

    In our seas, economic recovery and environmental recovery must go hand in hand. Coastal communities are on the front line when it comes to Brexit and the implications of Covid-19. Tackling those issues and the climate and nature emergencies demands a blue recovery. That is a key part of delivering a just transition for all. I stress that there must be consultation, as highlighted in some of the briefings that were sent to us before the debate.

    An interconnected issue is the role of marine environments in climate mitigation. No-take zones can better protect key blue carbon habitats that sequester carbon emissions and help us meet impending and crucial emissions reductions targets.

    I am pleased to support Kenneth Gibson’s motion and add Scottish Labour’s voice to the calls for more no-take zones in Scottish waters. It is time that we give those marine areas back their self-will.


  • Joan McAlpine (South Scotland) (SNP):

    I congratulate Kenneth Gibson on securing the debate today.

    I was keen to speak in the debate because of my personal connection to Lamlash and the wider Firth of Clyde. As a Gourock girl, I grew up sailing on and fishing in the Clyde. For our family, Arran, and especially Lamlash, where the no-take zone is, is a place of special memories. In the 1960s, we decamped to a but and ben there every July, at the time of the Greenock fair. One of my early memories of Lamlash pier is of seeing rows of urchins, still with their spines on, which divers had caught. They would be scraped and buffed up to sell to tourists—I recall a couple of nice lavender examples on my auntie’s dressing table.

    At that time, we had no appreciation of the harm that such activities caused to biodiversity. The creatures inside the sea urchin shells were scooped out and discarded. They were not considered to be good for anything, not even as bait to be used to catch haddock and whiting in nearby Brodick Bay—a summer pastime in those days, which soon disappeared with the fish.

    As wasteful as diving for sea urchins might have been back in 1966, it was not nearly as destructive as what came next. In preparation for today’s debate, I learned that the Government allowed trawlers to come closer to Scottish shores in 1984. That explained a lot, because dredging is so destructive and indiscriminate in its assault of the sea bed, bashing sea urchins, tearing the limbs of starfish and leaving an underwater wasteland.

    I recall far greater biodiversity in the Clyde in the 1960s and 1970s and as recently as the early 1980s, when we fished in and around Inverkip, where my father kept his boat. We went out every summer and caught predominantly cod, as well as haddock—if we were lucky—flounder and even the occasional skate. There were also sea trout near Inverkip, and until the 1980s my father caught grey mullet. Then, all the fish seemed to disappear. It did not make a lot of sense to me then, because the Clyde was getting cleaner. I know now that the only explanation is the overfishing and uncontrolled trawling that was allowed after 1984.

    With the success of the no-take zone in south Arran, we see a way ahead that can perhaps take us back to the times that I remember, when the Clyde was more fertile, and the times before that when, as Kenneth Gibson said, the Clyde was abundant. I come from Gourock, which began as a herring port, but the town has not seen a herring for many a lang year.

    The no-take zone was established in response to a campaign by the Community of Arran Seabed Trust and was designated in 2008 by the then Scottish National Party environment minister, Richard Lochhead. I was impressed to read that scientists who have been monitoring the area have recorded a doubling of living organisms on the seabed, compared with adjacent fished areas. The no-take zone has become a fish nursery for many important species, including cod. A report in Frontiers in Marine Science notes a remarkable turnaround in a few short years, with the number of scallops increasing between twofold and fivefold and, as Kenneth Gibson said, lobsters not only increasing in number but growing much larger.

    In a short time, a small no-take zone in south Arran has improved the position for species not just in that small zone but in adjacent areas—because, obviously, fish and crustaceans do not respect boundaries. Therefore, I was surprised to hear that It is the only no-take zone in Scotland. I ask members to imagine the effects if we had many more no-take zones around our coasts. No-take zones around not the whole coast but a substantial part of it would make a huge difference.

    The benefits for tourism are apparent, as anyone who has tried to book accommodation in Lamlash less than a year in advance can testify. Many more no-take zones around Scotland would benefit not just tourism but sustainable fishing, as species would be able to spawn and grow in peace. The approach is not anti-fishing; it is about establishing a sustainable fishing industry, which would be beneficial to our coastal communities.

    The Government is to be congratulated on setting up the no-take zone in Arran in 2008. Let us build on that success by creating many more no-take zones and tackling the nature emergency that we face alongside the climate emergency.


  • Peter Chapman (North East Scotland) (Con):

    I welcome the opportunity to speak on behalf of my Scottish Conservative colleagues in this important debate, which I thank Kenneth Gibson for securing. As we have heard, a no-take zone is defined as an area of sea and sea bed from which no fish or shellfish can be taken—that applies to the shore area, too. The United Kingdom has four such zones, all of which have proved successful. I will talk more about our Scottish no-take zone, but the others in the UK are in the Medway estuary, at Flamborough Head in North Yorkshire and at Lundy island off Devon.

    Our Scottish no-take zone in Lamlash Bay, which was established in 2008, has gone from strength to strength, as we have heard. Researchers have found that, in the past 10 years, the size, fertility and abundance of commercial species such as lobsters and scallops have significantly increased in the zone’s boundaries. I am pleased to note that lobsters are now more than four times more abundant in the no-take zone than in adjacent areas. Sea-bed biodiversity has increased by 50 per cent, and observations from divers, fishermen and anglers indicate that the sea bed and the fish are recovering.

    Howard Wood, who is the co-founder of the Community of Arran Seabed Trust, said:

    “Without destructive forms of fishing, this amazing, complex seabed allows more species to inhabit, hide and feed. You can see what happens when nature is allowed to thrive.”

    To his references to inhabiting, hiding and feeding I add the ability to breed. Unlike us humans, as fish grow older, they become more fertile. As they grow older and larger, many species spend more of their energy on producing eggs. That is why no-take zones can be vital to helping species to repopulate the surrounding area.

    Conservationists argue that up to a quarter of all UK waters should or could be no-fish zones. There is no doubt that that would allow stocks of fish such as North Sea cod to replenish, but I doubt that such coverage would go down well with our fishermen. They always argue that, no matter how many crabs, lobster or fish are in the sea, if coastal communities cannot make a living from them, that cannot be a way forward.

    As with most arguments, this is all about having a sensible balance. There is no doubt that no-take zones would be beneficial in the long run. We do not often have a win-win situation, but I genuinely think that having more no-take zones would be good not only for the environment but for our fishermen.

    On balance, I definitely support having more no-take zones and I encourage the Scottish Government to begin the work to allow us to progress the principle of that. It is essential for that work to include consultation of our fishermen. We must get their buy-in for the proposals and take them with us, rather than telling them from on high what has been decided. Only by getting their support for no-take zones will we make the zones a success. That is the way forward. By taking our fishermen with us, we can have a win-win for all who are concerned.


  • John Finnie (Highlands and Islands) (Green):

    I, too, congratulate Kenneth Gibson on securing this important debate. I congratulate everyone who is involved in the success of the Lamlash Bay no-take zone, which the motion refers to. The Community of Arran Seabed Trust—commonly known as COAST—does excellent work to protect and restore the marine environment, which ultimately sustains the livelihoods of those who depend on fishing and tourism.

    We often hear the phrase “a sea of opportunity”. I agree that a sea of opportunity awaits if we follow the no-take zones approach, but not if we allow the grab-everything approach of the reckless elements of our fishing sector. It is important that we recognise that, to have a sustainable industry, we must have a sustainable environment for that industry to work in. The evidence on the doubling of species numbers confirms that the approach that we are taking is right.

    The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation has said that years of overfishing and poor management mean that future generations will inherit an asset

    “that is a shadow of its former self”,

    so we must all redouble our efforts to ensure that that does not happen. I wish the SCFF every success in making its case for a judicial review of the Scottish Government’s decision that affects competing interests in the Inner Sound of Skye. I agree that it is often perceived that there are competing interests, but if we all have the common interest of ensuring a vibrant marine environment, as others have said, we can make progress.

    Alistair Sinclair, from the SCFF, has said:

    “Creelers and trawlers are left to sort it out among themselves.”

    Part of that is about gear conflict. It is not an equality of arms. As he said,

    “It is inconceivable that … Scotland’s marine environment would improve if trawling expanded at the expense of creeling.”

    As others have said, dredgers are destructive beyond measure. There have been investigations into six incidents of suspected illegal scallop dredging since March 2020, so the fact that we do not have an inshore fisheries bill is disappointing. However, I understand that there is common purpose among the parties in many respects.

    We need to take some of the machoism out of discussions about the fishing industry. Commercial fishing is not about winning things; it is about international co-operation and the precautionary principle. Fish do not recognise international boundaries any more than they recognise the boundaries of no-take zones, but they recognise that the environment in such zones is better for them to flourish in. We have heard some of the important statistics in that regard. It is most important that we take evidence-based decisions that are supported by robust impact assessments. There must be an end to overfishing and discards.

    The creation of more no-take zones would bring a lot of benefits. We have heard the argument for more marine protected areas. We need more monitoring and more robust policing, but we also need to understand the limitations of legislation and the evidential thresholds that have to be overcome. That will affect the number of successful prosecutions.

    The change to the 3-mile limit in 1984 has been mentioned. The issue is about spatial management, co-operation, things being community led and the benefits for the environment and eco-tourism. No-take zones are a way of ensuring that aspects of climate breakdown are addressed positively.

    I think that ours seas will flourish if we have more no-take zones. I congratulate the community at Lamlash on all its work in that regard.


  • The Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands (Paul Wheelhouse):

    I thank Kenny Gibson for lodging his motion on what is clearly an important issue to the Government, many members and their communities, such as the community on Arran. I thank all colleagues for their contributions. I particularly thank Mr Gibson, who set out the importance of fish and seafood as a source of nutrition, and some of the key findings from the monitoring of the no-take zone at Lamlash Bay. Other members shared a range of views that highlight the importance of the marine environment to our wellbeing.

    Members will, of course, be aware that no-take zones are not in my portfolio. I should explain that I am covering at short notice for my colleague the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, who is on compassionate leave. Although I have very fond memories of my time as the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, I do not have the depth of current knowledge of the issues that were raised in the debate, so I apologise in advance if I am not able to respond to all of them. Where necessary, I will ensure that issues are followed up afterwards.

    Through our future fisheries management strategy, we want to ensure that we fish at sustainable levels and that the right protections are in place for our marine environment, underpinned by a robust scientific evidence base and, importantly, an enforcement regime, both of which John Finnie mentioned.

    We have already confirmed that, where necessary and appropriate, additional measures will be introduced, such as for the protection of vulnerable spawning and juvenile fish areas, and remote electronic monitoring for the pelagic and scallop fleets, and for other sectors of the fleet as required.

    The deployment programme has fitted remote electronic monitoring, including cameras, to 30 per cent of Scottish scallop dredge vessels, which it is hoped will help with the issues that Joan McAlpine raised in relation to Inverkip. As part of our wider modernisation programme, 40 creel vessels in the Outer Hebrides inshore fisheries pilot have also been equipped with low-cost vessel tracking systems.

    For the rest of my speech, I will outline some of the marine conservation successes of the past 10 years, highlight current work and take a brief look into the future.

    The establishment of the Lamlash Bay no-take zone in 2008 was a ground-breaking decision by Richard Lochhead, following a long and persistent campaign by the Community of Arran Seabed Trust, known as COAST. It was a bold and laudable move that Richard Lochhead made when he was Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment. I recognise COAST’s continued efforts to work with academic partners, most notably the University of York, to monitor and assess changes that have occurred over the past 12 years. That work has not only produced a substantial evidence base, but has given a lot of students a great opportunity for field work during their studies.

    Kenneth Gibson described evidence that there was marine desert in the Firth of Clyde area. I understand that Marine Scotland undertook a review of the Clyde in 2012, which concluded that it was not a marine desert, but recognised that there was a need for some improvements. The situation was perhaps not as bleak as has been suggested, but there was certainly room for improvement.

    As Peter Chapman mentioned, we should not forget the fishing industry, which is the often-forgotten component of the success of Lamlash Bay. I understand that there has been a high level of compliance over the past 12 years, which has helped to create the conditions that are now being reported on. That serves as a strong reminder of the need to have those who will be directly affected by management measures fully involved and engaged in decision-making processes. In that respect, I agree with what Peter Chapman said.

    Before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, 2020 was being termed as a superyear for biodiversity, with important negotiations for a new global biodiversity framework due to take place, and the United Nations climate change conference of the parties to be held in Glasgow. As members are aware, those events have been rolled forward into 2021. Joan McAlpine was absolutely right to say that there is a strong link between the nature emergency and the climate emergency; therefore, those talks in 2021 will be particularly important.

    The year 2010 was also a superyear for biodiversity, in which there were three significant milestones: the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 received royal assent, creating new domestic powers and duties for marine planning, licensing and conservation; the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic—the OSPAR convention—adopted the north-east Atlantic environment strategy; and the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a global framework for biodiversity, known as the Aichi targets.

    Those three things have been significant drivers of our work in the past 10 years to improve the marine environment. We now have a national marine plan, which guides sustainable development, and we have established three marine planning partnerships. We have a marine licensing system, which is designed to keep activities within environmental limits, and we have expanded the MPA network from less than 10 per cent to 37 per cent, as Kenneth Gibson noted. This year alone, we have nearly doubled the size of the network, including designating Europe’s largest marine protected area. Those measures represent a huge leap forward in a decade, of which we should all be proud.

    We appreciate that we have not fully addressed and achieved all the targets from 2010. Yesterday, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform published a statement of intent on biodiversity. The statement made it clear that current projects to improve the status of biodiversity will continue and be enhanced, where possible, until a new Scottish biodiversity strategy is agreed. That is relevant to the marine environment, in which we are working to deliver fisheries management measures for the MPA network and ensuring that the most vulnerable habitats are adequately protected outside the MPA network. Progress on that has been slower than originally planned this year, due to the response to Covid-19 and the impact of European Union exit preparations; however, that important work will continue over the next few years and build on the significant stakeholder engagement that has taken place over the past decade.

    The statement of intent also commits to delivering a new Scottish biodiversity strategy within 12 months of the new global framework being agreed by the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021. Members will wish to note that a new OSPAR north-east Atlantic environment strategy is also expected in 2021. That means that a new course will need to be set for 2030, so that we can meet the new international targets that are expected to be agreed next year. In setting that new course, consideration can be given to the need for tools such as no-take zones, which members from across the chamber have called for, and other forms of strict protection, to achieve the outcomes that we desire.

    Once again, I thank Kenneth Gibson for bringing the debate to the chamber. There have been great contributions from colleagues. Claudia Beamish mentioned maerl beds, and I know from my previous role just how important they are. She rightly identified that they are beautiful, but they also contribute to the sequestration of carbon dioxide and are therefore important in our attempts to control damaging climate change.

    I thank Howard Wood and the team at COAST for their long-standing efforts to promote conservation of the marine environment. I met Howard Wood at a global climate action summit in San Francisco, and it was great to see him influence a debate at international level by taking the example of what we can achieve in Scotland, in communities such as Arran, to a global audience.

    We have come a long way since 2008, and we should celebrate the progress that we have made with conservation of the marine environment. I acknowledge the importance of today’s debate. The journey is not yet complete, and we recognise that there is much still to do. Many of our successes have been down to significant amounts of stakeholder engagement and ensuring that the wide range of views and perspectives are taken into account. Although that takes time, it results in better outcomes. I hope that stakeholders will continue to engage with marine conservation issues as they have done over the past decade, so that the next decade is just as successful as the last.

    Meeting closed at 19:36.

Taretråling Møte Trondheim 2013

19 and 20th September Johan Breivik and I – Bertram Sømme from stopptt  attended a meeting about Commercial seaweed harvesting on the Norwegian coast in Trondheim hosted by Nord and Syd Trondheim Fylkeskommune and others

Present were some 60 people from the major state marine biological organisations – from the Fiskeriedirektoratet – from the Kommune(councils) up and down the country – from the Miljødirektoratet – the environment agency and from the seaweed harvesting industry including Fmc, Algea, the Taretråwler skippers and perhaps the most important of all several very concerned private citizens.

Arneberg Ellen Fylkesmannen i Sør-Trøndelag
Bekkby Trine NIVA
Bertelsen Bernt Fiskeri- og kystdepartementet
bertram sømme stopptt
Betten Ola Fylkesmannen i Møre og Romsdal
Bjørgo Sigurd Sør-Trøndelag fylkeskommune
Bodvin Torjan Havforskningsinstituttet
breivik johan stopptt
Bremnes Hallgeir Biotrål AS
Brødreskift Jan Fiskeridirektoratet region Trøndelag
Ekli Monica Fylkesmannen i Sør-Trøndelag
Eliassen Jens_Eric Tingvoll kommune
Ellen Hoel Sør-Trøndelag fylkeskommune
Ely-Aastrup Hilde Fylkesmannen i Nord-Trøndelag
Fjermedal Anne Brit Fiskeridirektoratet region sør
Garstad Ulf Fisker
Garte Nervold Gunhild Fylkesmannen i Nordland
Gorseth May Brit Myrholt Fylkesmannen i Nord-Trøndelag
Grindvik Ivar Vikna kommune
Grindvik Blikø Magny Fiskeridirektoratet region Trøndelag
Grydeland Jan Helge Roan kommune
Hagen Eli Merete Fiskeridirektoratet Region Vest
Halsteinsen Terje Fiskeridirektoratet
helstad øyvor Frøya kommune
Hovland Frode Sogn og Fjordane fylkeskommune
Hoxmark Jens Odd Privatperson Tromøy Aust-Agder
Irgens Magnus Miljødirektoratet
Jakobsen Ole-Einar Fiskeridirektoratet region Møre og Romsdal
Jansen Turid Susort Rogaland fylkeskommune
Johansen Gunnar Fiskarlaget Midt-Norge
Kjønnø Tron ALGEA AS
Knudtsen Solveig Skjei Nord-Trøndelag fylkeskommune
Kvilhaug Ole Damm FMC Biopolymer AS
Lilleng Dagfinn Fiskeridirektoratet
Lorentsen Svein-Håkon Norsk institutt for naturforskning, NINA
Lorentsen Elling Norges Fiskarlag
Lorgen Karl Anton Fiskeridirektoratet region Møre og Romsdal
Martin Nilsen Frøya kommune
meinert jurgen norske sjømatbedrifters landsforening
Norderhaug Kjell Magnus NIVA
Olsen Ketil Nordland fylkeskommune
Roald Sverre Ola Fiskeridirektoratet region Møre og Romsdal
Sandberg Jan Henrik Norges Fiskarlag
Sande Einar Norges Råfisklag
Sandnes Arne Håkon Molde kommune
Sandstad Marianne Fiskarlaget Midt-Norge
Sefland Inger Mette Fiskeridirektoratet region vest
Sigstadstø Eirik Fiskeri- og havbruksnæringens forskningsfond
Sira Inger Helene Tingvoll kommune
Slettvåg Arve Møre og Romsdal fylkeskommune
Steen Henning Havforskningsinstituttet
Stuevold Guri Sør-Trøndelag fylkeskommune
Stølen Elin privatperson (fra Sogn og Fjordane)
Sørvik Terje Nord-Trøndelag fylkeskommune
Ulriksen Vidar Fiskeridirektoratet Region Vest
Ulsund Carina Fylkesmannen i Sør-Trøndelag
Utvær Hanne Marie Fiskeridirekoratet region vest
Viken Odd Inge Roan Fiskarlag
Wathne Jens Altern Fiskeridirektoratet
Øyen Ketil Biotrål AS

Why important?  Because these citizens are deeply worried that there is not enough knowledge about the consequences of the industry – that the signs that there is something wrong are being ignored.  These are ordinary people who are prepared to spend several thousand Kroner and their time to let their voice be heard and to find out more. (one could say it was the job of the others to be present)This is clear indication of the concern the public has over this issue and its  not being addressed.

The meeting was held in the very splendid Clarion Hotel in Trondheim – full of vast open spaces and artworks – a impressive demonstration of wealth and status –

We asked the organizers of the conference if we could present a little video we had made – we were told we could – but as events turned out there was some confusion – fair enough it was not a good video.

However the national television was there – NRK  – they got the video so it is entirely possible that it will get a far more important audience. However as always they left before the fireworks began.

The message we (stopptt) got from the meeting was clear – our little organization is having a strong impact – out website and blogs are carefully read and scrutinized by the taretråling industry – private individuals and many others – we know this because we were told this by individuals from those organizations (we also have a counter on our old site it currently reads 38,000) – what we did not get was any indication from the marine biologists present that they knew anything at all about us, or our site, or the information we had – in fact throughout the meeting the most important questions we asked received no answers and it was clear that they did not know, further they wanted me and those present to clearly understand that they


On the surface this has a number of results but one clear one is that this is possibly why we should be extremely worried about our oceans and the state of them – many scientists are more concerned about status than fact.

We managed to film most of the meeting – and a lot of information was forthcoming – perhaps the most important was the mechanism of the natural control of sea urchins, it appears there there are several, and that they are functioning. The main mechanism is by a nematode worm. We tried to find out information about this from Theirry Chopin in Canada (who is one of the worlds experts on seaweed

2 years ago, but got nowhere – we still have a lot of unanswered questions about the mechanisms involved, it is clear they wont be answered in the present climate.

One rather worrying feature of this problem is the experimental use of quicklime to control the predation – worrying because it might negatively effect the predacious (parasitic) nematode population – we understand there is also a predacious gastropod and that might be effected  – but then this is not our job, we have professionals for that.

There were no clear answers  –  did manage to find out that it has not happened because of taretråling (in some areas) and that nobody knows quite why however as the area (trondheim to lofoten) has only just recovered it seems dangerous to allow taretråling in the area so soon.  There are reports which state that there is often a population explosion shortly after taretråling.

From a private discussion with a representative of the miljødirektoratet they had presented no objections to opening this area for harvest as they have no negative information.  During our conversation it was clear that they had no information about my documents and  their contents in fact they were surprised, very.   What impact it would have had on their decision though is something else.   They took with them a large amount of the printed documents I had with me.

Several times during the meeting i pointed out that this meeting was about tarehøsting in Norway – NOWHERE ELSE – there seemed to be no awareness at all of what is happening elsewhere  or even that our oceans are connected– of the negative consequences of harvesting in other lands – even little of the negative consequences of seaweed cultivating – there is an annual slick now of some 30,000 square kilometres in the yellow sea  due to a problem associated with cultivation.’s%20largest%20macroalgal%20bloom%20caused%20by%20expansion%20of%20seaweed%20aquaculture%20in%20China.pdf

I would like to point out that the distribution of documents at the meeting was not really important – because we supply quite a number of organizations that have important roles to play, both in the private and public sector.

Why is it important that Norway should think about the bigger picture?

Norway has the largest amount of Laminaria Hyperborea apparently in the world – as i mentioned at the meeting it removes approximately 480 tons of nitrogen per 20 square kilometres (our marine biologists kept on pointing out that there is over 50 million tons on the Norwegian coast – nearly 6,000 square kilometres – however no one at the meeting, in spite of frequent requests from many present – could tell us how they arrived at this figure)– harvesting it, disturbing it over such a wide area is going to have an effect – particularly as the gulf stream runs alongside the coast.  (how do i know this?? Sure you have to read quite a bit to find it, but its there alright)   That means that well over 100,000 tons of nitrogen are removed annually from the sea by just our seaweed – worldwide seaweed binds over 30 million tons of co2

Day one of the meeting was mainly about fish populations being affected by taretråling – apparently very little.

Svein Håkon Lorentsen presented more work on the negative impact of taretråling on skarv or cormorants – apparently it is considerable and it also effects the eggs there not being enough food – i have written to Mr Lorentsen concerning the Thiamine issue and sent links to the main document, but received no reply

  • i was unable to ask him about this at the conference but in the end it did not really matter – later in the meeting it became apparent why!
  • Reading this should set off alarm bells – it certainly did with me.
  • I have contacted many organizations such as the uk RSPB the Norwegian ornitologisk institut and marine protection groups concerning this – a great deafening silence is the result but i know the documents are being read.

My colleague Johan had several pertinent questions and points to make – one in particular about the law being changed on the proximity of taretråwlers to long term and well known lobster and crabbing areas – the old law states that no trawling is allowed within 1 nautical mile of any well known areas – that has been changed so now they can trawl for seaweed where they like.  In fact one of the fishermen present said he had seen taretrawlers take up lobster and crab pots, put them on deck and replace them after they had finished.  This is information which is kept well away from public scrutiny.

Another item was on the Tracking of taretrawlers with ais and other systems. Many Environmental organizations tell us they have spent a lot of time gathering information on the activities of the trawlers saying they have eyewitness accounts of them trawling out of the areas they are officially allowed to use, including wildlife reservations – so far stopptt  is the only organization that has produced a prosecution as Johan was very careful to point out. He also pointed out that the system is a shambles and open for abuse.

Mr O.D. Kvilhaug from FMC biopolymers was able to say that next year all the boats will be fitted with trackers.  This is excellent news – it means that they are sensitive to public opinion and that pressure has worked.


Brev om Taretråling

I dag snakket jeg med en Ari, et Rådgiver med dere om taretråling.
Jeg og noen andre har følgt med industrien og båten over noen år.
Vi har jobbet med fiskeriedirektoratet og andre orginisasjoner.
Til fiskeridirektoratet har vi levert mange papir om tarehøsting og medfølgende.

Papierene fra Havsforskningsinstitut og niva forteller de samme historien – de tar 6 til 9 år fer de fleste dyrene kommer tilbake etter hosting – og tareskogen er restorert til va den var fer. Papirene viser frem at I noen område er så mye som 92% fjernet – hosting forgår vert fjerde år.

Dette er et godt papier til å lese –

Kjysten er delt opp it feldt, vert felt er høstet til ett år – dette betyr at sjø botn er skrapet over og over igjen I ett år I de samme område.

Dette fra Niva papiret
De er viktig for industrien til å ha minst mulig dyr festnet til stilpen og blader for dette kan ødlegge blanding av alginat – noe som er ikke snakket om men dette kan bli let finnet ut fra paier om Alginat.

Høsting metode er ganske dårlig – 5 ganger mer er ødlagt en er tatt opp.
Høsting figurer fra 2015 er 170,000 tonn, de meste fra r.o.k vestlandet og 30,000 tonn fra vigra og område der. Dette kommer opp til 1 million tonn very år – ikke den 170,000 som er deklert.

Igjen fra Niva 2006

De har blitt høsting langs hele kjysten vor stor tare vokser – vi har blitt forttalt av fiskeriedirektoratet at de er ikke son, men vi kan få bilder av taretråler aktiv I lofoten.

Taretråling er forbudt I UK – Jeg har snakket med hun som skrivet papirene on høsting I northern ireland – kansje hennes papier er vorfor. Den sier helt klart at mekanisk høsting er ikke bærekraftig.

Et lange papier fra The Crown Services – er et prøv og få høsting igang I skotland med taretrålerene – den snakker om vor mye nitrogen er tatt opp fra stortare – 480 tonn vert 20 qvadrat kilometer (fra norske forskerer Henning steen)– nitrogen er jødsel – slam – de fleste kommer fra opdrets.

Vi har store problemer her I norge fra dette – vi trenger stortare til å rense sjøen.

Er de ikke son at industrien vil ha 5 doblet produksjon I de neste 10 år?

Taren øgså tar opp tong metaler – qviksølv – de er et gammelt u båt som er fult lastet med dette.

Tare når den er høstet er besatt av bakterier – disse setter ut et gas som heter hydrogen sulphide – dette er ganske gjiftig – til å redusere Formalin må brukkes.

De er forbudt å brukke formalin til mat produksjon I eu – du får kreft fra den.
FMC har hadt mange problemer med dette fer særlig I amerika.

Her får di låv til å slippe ut 100 tonn vert år I sjøen – men fra va jeg vet de er ingen som følger med – mulig at de er ganske mer.

Taren demper bølger – de er et papier som viser frem at de er rok 89% demping over 250 meter – de er ganske mye – de er snakk om forsikrings selskaper som vill ikke gi forsikring visst taretråler operere I område.

Men va er viktig om dette er at den tar ut strøm fra sjøen – dette betyr at detrious som fløter I sjøen er tatt op og senker ned til bunnen. Dette sedimenter inholder pcb, dioxin og mye verre. Når planterer er fjernet er sedimentene I vann igjen og er tatt op av alt slags sjødyr – dette er spisst av fisk som vi spiser – mat tilsynet og andre orginisajjoner har forbudt om å fiske I mange område på kjysten – de er nå meldt at ingen skal spise fiske lever – men de fortsatt gjør de her.

Vi har mange sempler av torsk lever – grønn, svart, grå. Mat tilsynet var ikke intresert I dette – havsforskningsinstitut sa at de var helt normalt?

Vår sjøfugler forsvinner – et papier fra Sven Haakon Lauritzen viser frem at Skarv kan ikke overleve visst de er mye høsting – ingen reserch har blitt gjort på andre fugl – Ornitologer sier at dette er tilkoblet til stor invandring av Mackrell – men kansje dette fishk er her på grunn av tareskogen ødlegelse.

Mange av papirene vi leser viser at hosting kan foregå I mange år, da forsvinner plantene – de har hendt I Brazil og mange andre land – fra va jeg forestå de også henner på kjysten vår.

Tidligste papier vi har er fra 1840 talet fra japan om tareforsvinning etter for mye høsting.

Nå høster di opp ved vigra – der har de blitt ganske stor kråkeboller beiting I de siste 40 år – papirene viser frem at dette kan sje når en område er åpnet.
De har blitt kalkulert at dette område vil ha bunnet 150,000 tonn av co2 visst den var uforstyrret.

Dette kommer fra her

Figurer viser frem at tarestilpene og blader inholler rok 25% alginat.
Fra 200,000 tonn blir det 30% tørr vekt, de er 60,000 tonn involving 10 countries, of which 4 were Asian countries (6) …

FMC health and nutrition sier at di produsere 5000 tonn av alginat vert år – men dette er ikke 25% av 60,000 tonn, vi renger at de skulle bli mer slik 15000 tonn.

Di får opp til 60,000nkr vert tonn – visst figurene er riktig da er de ganske mye som forsvinner vert år.

FMC health and nutrition er et av 9 selskaper I fmc corporation – FMC selskaper har blitt tatt for svindel – miljø skade I stor grad – et selskap forgiftet missippi elv noen år siden – et annen giftet luftet over Indian land – andre har blitt tatt for pris fixing cartel og for verdens største bot.

Vi har anmeldt taretrålene for å fiske ulåvelig – saken var helt klart – men det kommet ikke I retten. I to år hadde vi besøk av mange politimen som spurte de samme spørsmål ver gang – til slutt ringte vi et lensman på Aukra og optok samtale – de levert vi til fiskeriedriektoratet og et dømming kom frem I 2 uker.

Nå har vi filmet taretrålene så lastet at di nesten synker – vi anmeldt di til sjøfartsdirektoratet – fra va vi forestå et sak var sett I gang og di fikk bot – men etter et stund så vi at trålene var likke så lastet – vi leverte mer film og bilder med plass og tid – Sjøfarts fortalte oss at di hadde et møte med fmc – di også fortalte oss at bildene var ikke klart nokk – mangler tid og plass –
Par uker siden filmet vi et taretråler I natt – som fisket ulåvelig – fiskeridirektoratet sa at di kunne ikke gjør noe – at alle båter var in I havnen – dette kunne di se fra sporing.

Vi fant et artikkel om sporing – de er ingen problem til å jukse med det – de er også ingen problem med å ta apparat ut av båten.—events/press-releases—news/bid/343898/AIS-Hacking-Buzz-Hype-and-Facts
Så den store spørsmal er – er de et sak her?
Sjøen vil bli ødlegt om et stund I alfall – de vi vet – nesten alle land som har tilgang til de I eu høster tare – dette er ganske mye.

Jeg tror at praksis må bli overhalt – vi må ha foreståelse om va går på, de er ikke nokk at noen fra havsforskningsinstitut sier de er ok – de må bli kunnskap I alle sektorer. – vi kan ikke stole på et selskap som har så mye historie I bakgrunnen.
Fra et bbc artikkel

De er ike kjent nokk om så mye høsting som foregår nå vil de bli forsent nar vi finner ut?

Visst dette skaper stor problemer for oss alle va slags hjelp eller kompensasjon får vi fra FMC?

Dette er va fmc sier om taretråling

I de siste få år har vi fått mange venner opp og ned kjysten, fra lofoten til Oslo, men særlig I Høsting omrade – alle er rasende sint. Helt utrolig at dette kan foregår I norge som gier penger til å redde regn skoget men kan ikke redde vår egen.

Bertram Sømme


Us Norwegians, we love our nature.

Because most of us have grown up with Fjords the sea, mountains and wildlife it is very much part of us So imagine how it feels to see the “invisible” countryside being torn up and destroyed.  Invisible because it is under the sea, maybe we cant see it but we can see and feel the effects.

1 days load

The island of Vedvik has a visit from the trawlers every 4 to 5 years – there has been considerable damage to the infrastructure from wave action this year – the komune decided that as the visit of the trawlers coincided with this it was fair to assume that the two were linked and so initiated an action against the seaweed trawling company.

In conversation with several lawyers in the district they tell me of cases going back over 40 years where structural damage has been ascribed to the removal of wave damping seaweed but not one has succeeded.

This is a letter from the man responsible for the trawlers in Norway concerning this action by the council.


In the letter Ole Damm Kvilhaug mentions the importance of seaweed as a nursery and living place for wildlife, that it is a very important part of our ecology and environment.

The Role of the EU in Commercial Seaweed Harvesting

Over the years Stopptt has accumulated numerous reports on the matter of seaweed harvesting, information on the companies conducting commercial harvesting and related matters.

From this overview it is clear that the industry has powerful connections/support, political and industrial – it is also easy to feel that the excessive drive in the press about the benefits of the usage of seaweeds in diet and medicine is linked to the industry’s powerful PR machine. Again linked to grants to research projects and grants to universities.

With this in mind it has been fascinating to follow the activities of an organization called NETALGAE – this organization has been mentioned in previous articles.

Current front page

It is difficult to be exactly sure what this organizations connection is to the eu – at the bottom of the page “problematic” it says “European regional development fund – for lack of any other direction this organization is directly funded by  and is part of the EU.

its job seems to be furthering the seaweed harvesting industry be it mechanical or manual – by connecting access to funds and information – some of the reports it has produced are excellent however it is clear it feels that  local governmental restrictions such as environmental protection and planning laws need to be overcome – this is from a report called Problematic.

They are careful over the use of language – preferring to approach the subject obliquely however the meaning is clear.

The alginate industry has a massive problem in balancing or hiding the effects of its dredging operations, if the destruction became too evident its operations could be in jeopardy – so in Norway they have through political connections access to nearly the entire coat where the seaweed they require grows – this means the effects are so widespread it is difficult for anyone to point a finger at the industry and say there is the cause. However there is slowly an awareness arising which the industry cannot ignore  (for instance the dumping at sea of large amounts of formalin used to prevent the raw material from rotting

The fact that the raw material often has to travel several thousand kilometers past where there were formerly large seaweed beds – and more.

The net algae website has disappeared before – the last time it was replaced by a blog on APPLE products in German – surely not hacked – it is easy to believe that someone was asking difficult questions and thus the plug was pulled.

The apple blog on the netalgae website

We believe that it is of vital importance for us all that honesty and integrity is the mainstay of all businesses – that severe penalties should exist for the destruction of our environment and changing our ecology, especially the marine.

It is very distressing to feel that the EU is encouraging such activities.

Is Seaweed Trawling Sustainable?

In the film Is Seaweed Trawling Sustainable the documents and references are numbered.

Here are the links and information to the reference numbers in the film.

No 1)

Our page on Netalgae.

The company is funded by the eu

This map shows the areas mechanically harvested on the Norwegian coast.

Netalgae has produced valuable reports on the industry in the major European countries involved.


The Regulation of Seaweed Farming in the UK


CREMADES_J_(EN).pdf Spain

NETALGAE_WP1-2(bis).pdf France, Portugal

Net algae promotes itself as assisting communities harvesting algae from the sea – unfortunately this also includes large scale mechanical harvesting.

It also says that it can help the industry where it is affected by local government and environment issues.

Reading the above it sounds reasonable – but if you consider it is based on the premise that mechanical seaweed harvesting is sustainable it changes into something else.

Our information leads us to believe that mechanical seaweed harvesting is not sustainable  –

We made some inquiries to net algae concerning this and received no reply

We made enquiries to the EU – and were sent on a wild goose chase.

– for the EU to support this is contrary to much of what the EU stands for concerning the environment.

The EU is a signatory to the OSPAR Convention – by funding this organization it may be breaking that agreement.

We note that  on the internet is now something else entirely. Net algae seems to have disappeared.

Where the former homepage was is now a blog in German

some of our files on netalgae.

Irish involvement of Netalgae

This is some of the work of Mairtain Walsh from BIM the company trying to get permission for mechanical kelp harvesting on the Irish coast. Netalgae has been much involved with seaweed harvesting on the Irish coast and with the issuing of grants .

From this it seems they believe  are no environmental or ecological issues with any form of seaweed harvesting.  If that was the case why have there been so many objections to this plan both from ordinary protestors, business and professionals.


These are snips from the Fiskeriedirektoratets home page showing maps of the seaweed trawling zones on the Norwegian coast.

Map showing overview of harvesting zones

from our area

Each zone is about 20 sq km and is harvested for a year – that means they can scrape the seaweed bed continuously for the entire year if they so wish.

There is supposed to be a 4 to 5 year period between the harvesting years on each zone but we note that they can harvest every third year in some areas.

Check paragraph 2  the one in blue

this is what Harald Bredahl for fmc says about their harvesting frequency

The above link is to the maps provided by the Fiskeriedirektoratet ref seaweed trawling zones and other fisheries activities.

No 3)


This document mentions 97 bird reserves in the 3 counties sogn og fjordane, Hordaland and Rogaland that are open for seaweed trawling –

The snip below is about concern for birds – it is part of section 5

entitled saksbehandling.

It says it is difficult to be sure about the effects of seaweed trawling on seabirds

but it is clear that some birds are dependent on the seaweed forests for food , that disturbances in the forests can effect foraging activities.

In connection with a local reduction of food seaweed trawling will disturb hatching , overwintering and roosting seabirds – this specially effects diving birds which live in big concentrations. Ref 472 nina niku.

concern about birds

We have other articles ref seabirds  and seaweed trawling



This is one of a number of articles from Google on seabirds disappearing – the one we have featured in the video says that some birds have gone down by as much as 80% in the last 15 years .

This is because of lack of food – the cause is the salmon farming industries need for fish meal.   They take large amounts of small fish.

(no mention of the seaweed trawling industry)

The situation is described as very dramatic.

it is interesting to note that after taretråling many small fish disappear

This research paper gives details

Here is a paper from Naturvernforbundet which expresses several concerns in relation to seaweed trawling in bird reserves, a major one of which is that above water it is strictly regulated and controlled but underwater its a very different matter.


Jostein Vea a marine Biologist working for fmc/dupont who claims to have developed taretråling on the Norwegian coast says in this article that if they are not allowed to trawl in the 9 bird reserves the development of natural resources  department has raised questions about then the entire Norwegian seaweed trawling industry would be in jeopardy with the loss of many jobs

Jostein Vea goes further to say that this has been a political decision –

that is an interesting statement as it indicates that this decision would not be made on any environmental concerns but by politicians in favor of business.

No 6)

kelp harvest impacts summary

Independent research papers are one thing – you can rely on the information because the scientists concerned have put their signatures on the work.

But another thing entirely is government sponsored papers concerning the establishment of an industry dedicated to industrial mechanical seaweed harvesting – at the most extreme one could say they are pro the industry, but that is not the case – the papers we have read to date (ref northern Ireland, Scotland and southern Ireland)  are dispassionate indeed – serious studies of the industries and its effects.

Strangely enough and sadly enough they echo the other research papers we have come across concerning environmental issues and more- thus one could hold to the idea that they are correct.

Irish feasibility study

of particular interest is the summary in the Southern Irish paper

biased reports

No 7)


We first came across this paper when we visited Runde for the seaweed trawling conference there.

Svein- Håkon Lorentsen presented his paper after which a massive row erupted with Jostein Vea telling the audience the paper was flawed and had been rejected by various august bodies – vigorously defended by Svein Hakon Louritzen – this at the open meeting.

The paper clearly shows that some species of birds do not have enough to eat after trawling and that some small fish disappear almost completely for extended periods of time.

This bears up our experience at first hand of the effects of seaweed trawling – but another interesting effect is that immediately after the trawling occurs there is an increase in fish – possibly due to the removal of the canopy and the crushing of crabs and other animals – but then after that the numbers fall off dramatically – every time the area is trawled there seems to be less small fish.

It is interesting to note that Svein – Håkon Loritsen is one of the signatures of the Irish research paper.

No 8)

At the Molde Miljøfestival 2019 we had a day dedicated to asking questions about seaweed trawling – Harald Bredahl was good enough to attend, when the issue of chemical defenses in seaweeds came up he publicly stated that “Henning Steen, one of Norway’s leading marine biologists told me that he had never heard of it, that as a major researcher he should know about it,”

It is of utmost importance to be able to verify statements – fortunately one of our activists was able to record the entire meeting – the recording is available on the net and is in our archives.

At the Trondheim taretråling meeting Henning steen as well as many other major figures in the marine biological world were present – this included representatives from many coastal councils as well as figures from the industry.

I was given the opportunity to make a presentation – originally I had made a film but at the last moment decided to present some of the papers we had been reading,  I read out a brief summary of each paper and asked those present if they knew about the issue – in every case I received a firm No, then i asked if anyone wanted to see the papers – again a very definitive NO.

it was all over in 5 minutes – I had obtained what I needed – their reaction.

Afterwards our little group was approached by a researcher wanting to see some of the papers.  We were also approached by a representative from a large company wishing to become involved in the seaweed industry – he received a thick file.


Chemical defenses in seaweeds.

Irish feasibility study

Reading the Irish research paper it clearly states that the damaged plants release poisons for up to 6 months after being damaged.

What effect this has we cannot say – however nearly all land plants have one form of chemical defense or another – some are extremely potent.

There are  many papers on the chemical defenses of seaweeds – some are very potent too – others tell of signals being sent from one plant to another so chemical defenses are started there as well – thus it is possible that one zone of damaged plants could effect other areas  thus forming a chain reaction as the majority of the coast is harvested.

Please note the use of the word possible.

Links to pdf documents ref chem defenses.

Seasonal variation of polyphenolics in Ascophyllum nodosum Phaeophyceae


2000_meps_003 chemical defences



Duffy_Hay 1990


This is a fascinating snip from an expedition to the arctic and clearly poisonous seaweeds 

However it is not a serious scientific paper it is  a press article

However these are as are the links above.

we have a great many more

attacked plants influence other plants

reading between the lines it seems that researching chemical defenses in seaweed plants is a difficult subject and while there are many independent organizations researching seaweeds it seems that fmc sponsors a great many , does this effect what subjects are researched and the outcomes?

What are the penalties for publishing misleading information?

As seaweed is and has been used as a major source for iodine, iodine being poisonous it is more than likely that there is a considerable increase of this in areas where there are crushed plants – what effect this has on marine organisms is unclear

This is what Harald Bredahl  from fmc says about defense chemicals in seaweeds

(“when laminaria grows again after trawling which may take 4 or 5 years or more  there is a defense against all these small boring creatures extending their return from 6 to 9 years .  Seaweed sends out chemical signals that means that the animals do not return to their former homes and that they have few places to hide from mackerel.”   This is incorrect there are none of Norway’s foremost researchers that confirm that these chemical defenses exist.

They can therefore confirm that there is a mass of small fish around the smaller laminaria plants.)

This is quite interesting as this is a major issue – if the plants do have chemical defenses and they do prevent SOME animals and plants returning to their former status til after more years than the harvesting frequency allows then there would be a major effect on marine life, something which could be used against the industry.

This from Harald Bredahl is in response to an article in the Møre and Romsdal Budstikka one of our collaborators wrote – indeed Harald has a point, the article indicates that the chemical defenses (if there are any) prevent animals and fish from returning – we know that most of the animals and plants return but some take between 5 and 9 years to return (depending on which scientific paper you  read but the consensus is there) indicating that there is something preventing them from returning.

It is more than likely that laminaria has serious defenses against predators of one kind or another(like all plants and animals) with chemical being the most likely – to be accurate we should stress that we are not qualified marine biologists we simply read reports and papers, report on their contents and occasionally when we feel the need we come to conclusions we feel are the most likely.

If these conclusions are against the interests of major corporations trawling our seaweed beds then that is something our politicians and readers should investigate for themselves.  Hopefully the information we provide will be of use.

The fact is that many research papers point to the incomplete restoration of the animal and plant life in the seaweed beds after trawling

This is from Netalgae – the eu company concerned with promoting all forms of seaweed harvesting.  The document concerned is a study of harvesting on the Norwegian coast.

If you consider that most of the marine life is relatively short lived and mobile why does it take so long to regrow/recolonize?

If the area is trawled every 4 to 5th year it never reaches the 7th as mentioned in the document above.

This is from an independent Norwegian research institution

the full document  5150_200dpi

restoration takes longer than the 4 to 5 years allowed by the industry what is the connection with chemical defenses?

Release of toxins by damaged plants for up to 6 months after trawling may or may not be chemical defenses but it would have an effect, especially when spread over such a large area  that harvesting covers, the Irish paper which this is from also states that this effects the growth of spores – we know some areas have little regrowth after trawling.

We can only conclude from the news article on the possible sanction of trawling in 9 registered bird colonies that seaweed trawling on the Norwegian coast is regulated by politics, not science.

This little article on the surface is amusing –

seaweed can effect the weather.

Essentially it says that when seaweed, in this case laminaria hyperborea is stressed (under attack) it releases iodine which in the atmosphere can form fog, but the paper also goes on to say that it is also released into the water in large amounts – thus i think clearly defining a chemical defense weapon in seaweed which if the Irish paper is correct is released in large amounts for up to 6 months by damaged plants.

No clearer evidence of chemical defenses in seaweeds – in particular this one laminaria hyperborea is required.

no 10)

Reduced growth of laminaria  having serious consequences for coastal communities and wildlife. (Henning Steen)

This is from an article on the havsforskningsinstitut home page

This article seems to have disappeared – formerly it could be reached by a link on the fmc/dupont homepage.

link to homepage – the dupont/fmc site.

Information on home page fmc/dupont ref environmental effects   

It is interesting to note that accreditation of a scientific paper is how we know that the information is correct, so it should be signed by a researcher staking his or her reputation on that fact – none of the articles on the fmc homepage are signed and the only link to a signed document we could find on this page seems to have stopped working – this is the Henning Steen document saying that damage to the forests could have serious economical and environmental consequences.


There are many facts and figures on the internet concerning laminaria – many of them don’t quite agree so we have chosen one we feel we can rely on and that is from the organization regulating fishing of every kind on the Norwegian coast – the fiskeriedirektoratet.

From the above document we have included a little snip

It stresses how important seaweed is to the ecology and wellbeing of the coast.

That the seaweed beds cover approximately 10,000 sq km and that they are a major factor in cleaning the waters from dangerous pollutants mainly from Norway’s Industries.

It is interesting to note that the salmon farming industries have used vast amounts of hydrogen peroxide in the last few years

After use it is dumped into the sea – often in areas used by the shrimping industries destroying that industry and causing considerable economic hardships. (it is after all used to kill fish lice who are crustaceans so why should it not affect shrimps who are also crustaceans) – indeed fmc is a major player in the production of hydrogen peroxide having received a fine of some 20 million euros for interfering in the sale of the chemical

Hydrogen peroxide is very acidic – it is sometimes  difficult to find reliable  information on the internet – clearly there have been attempts at removing or altering possibly sensitive articles however information we trust puts the ph of hydrogen peroxide at between 1.2 and 5 – as it is made mostly made using sulphuric acid(ph 1)  its ph is not surprising but it effects on the marine environment are.

Its effects on the ecosystem and animals have been kept hidden for many years

It kills seaweed for a start – this information came out because attempts at growing seaweed near to salmon farms failed – the culprit was soon found to be the chemical used by the industry to control sea lice – hydrogen peroxide

The industry apologizes for misleading information

http://oppdretsnæringa beklager feil informajson om lusemiddel

NO 12)  The local seaweed deppo

The website proudly announces they take in about 50,000 tons per year.

If you consider the snip from the Irish state paper that figure should take into consideration that for every stalk harvested 2 are left destroyed – so to be correct that figure should include another 100,000 tons left destroyed on the seafloor.

Satellite map of seaweed deppo

No 13)

Northern Ireland feasibility study of the seaweed harvesting industry.


This paper is produced by the northern Ireland environment and heritage service.

We have contacted the service ref this paper and spoken to the authors and are very secure in the belief that this is a completely neutral study of the industry.

It clearly reinforces our belief that mechanical seaweed harvesting is not sustainable, here are the relevant snips from the above document

Page 10 ref harvesting methods.

Mechanical harvesting unsustainable

No 14)

Irish feasability study

This is another feasibility study of the seaweed harvesting possibilities in southern Ireland produced by and for the government of that land.


When a paper has the signature of its author it is verification that the author to the best of his or her abilities has declared that the information contained is true.  Thus they have staked their reputation and their career on this.

This has the signature of 45 researchers from many countries including 7 from Norway.

It makes a number of statements that could have serious impacts on the seaweed trawling industry.

Here it says that 2 plants are broken for every 1 harvested – Assuming that the “broken” plants die then that clearly states that twice as much is destroyed as is harvested add that together then the harvest should read 3 times more than is declared – thus the Norwegian harvest is 200,000 tons plus “for the 2 plants left broken for every one harvested ” 400,000 tons making that a total of 600,000 tons annual harvest on the Norwegian coast.

Toxins released by dying plants.

This particular reference refers to laminaria digitata, however there is no reason why this cannot apply to lam hyper too.

(page 54)

This from the above document states that the crushed and dying plants release toxins for up to 6 months after the damage – as previously stated 400,000 tons of damaged laminaria plants releasing toxins is something that should be taken seriously – yes the paper does not have any information on the type of toxin however laminaria has been used as a source of Iodine and other substances – iodine is a serious poison.

For further information ref chem defences see No9)

Norwegian reports biased.

The industry is keen to promote every aspect of its work as beneficial – thus it is easy to find unsigned information and or altered wiki articles substantiating this.  Fmc/dupont is also a major contributor to financing research – it is easy to assume that negative results would not be desirable – we have observed the effects.  Fortunately there are a number of marine research institutions in Norway that do not seem to be affected by this yet, so there is plenty of information available ref the negative consequences of seaweed trawling.

This document is written by many experts and specialists, their combined knowledge and expertise is clearly shown with valuable references to further reading. 00510620

The authors


There is currently an attempt to introduce kelp harvesting by mechanical means on the Irish coast – the target area Bantry Bay.

This aroused a huge public outcry with several Irish mps making statements in the doyle.

A very active protest group with over 25,000 signatures – many protest marches and serious questions being asked as to the interest of the Irish government in maintaining a ecologically sound marine environment.

Facebook link

no 15)

00510620  Wild seaweed harvesting in Scotland report.

This is a feasibility study on the possible industry – state produced

we wrote a report on this some time ago

It is a very pretty report but has some discrepancies

There has been an attempt by the Scottish government to start seaweed trawling on the Scottish coast – this was met by a massive response against the initiative – some 30,000 protest signatures plus over 150 small industries involved with the Scottish seaweed industry protesting


LINK is concerned that the approval of this proposal would open the door for other companies to begin harvesting kelp and for this industry to expand rapidly, without adequate controls and without a full understanding of the broader ecological consequences of kelp removal. Without a detailed understanding of the distribution, density, health, and recovery rate of Scotland’s kelp habitats it is not possible to identify sustainable rates of harvesting.
Before applications for large-scale, commercial seaweed harvesting can be considered, it is vital that the Scottish Government develops a seaweed management plan that ensures any large-scale removal of seaweed is carried out sustainably and will not have a long-term, detrimental impact on the marine environment. The management plan should identify small areas where seaweed harvesting can be trialled, with robust mitigation and monitoring measures, but leave the majority of seaweed habitat untouched, which can be used as control sites for future studies to assess the environmental impact of seaweed harvesting.

This seems a very sensible approach – so why was it not implemented before the request to initiate seaweed trawling was set in motion – several possible answers.

The facebook site for the protest group

Finally Sir David Attenborough became involved with the issue

first a letter to the times

Then articles

Several Scottish politicians spoke out against the seaweed trawling but we note that the company concerned was told to try again at some future date.

The original report has several glaring anomalies – including no mention of the use of formalin, a declaration that to maintain the biomass in the forests the roots are going to be cut off the plants and replaced – fascinating.

Just to be clear formalin has to be used (many other chemicals have been tried) to stop the plants from releasing hydrogen sulphide when they start to decay which is almost immediately they are taken from the water – to harvest the amounts mentioned here they would certainly need the chemical – it is listed as a grade 1b cancer risk – that is you are very likely to get cancer (5 different types) if you are exposed to it for any length of time.


Rinde et al. 2006 – Effekter av taretråling

This paper is produced by Nina

They seem to be completely independent of any major connections to industries involved with exploitation of our nature.

Unlike the Havsforskningsinstitut.

The front page of the report

The information that is of particular interest to us is this

Essentially it identifies the amount of regrowth laminaria hyperborea produces per m/2 and harvesting frequencies and does the math which identifies 85/km/2 as the area needed to produce the 200,000 odd tons the Norwegian seaweed harvesting industry says it harvests per year – if every condition was perfect.

The area would be divided into 20sq km strips as it is in the “wild” which would each be harvested on a 5 year rotational basis.

It is interesting to note that the paper identifies that the conditions are never perfect so much more would be needed anyway but why so much?

In fact over 100 times more is harvested making it clear that something is seriously wrong – why would the company concerned be so keen to harvest in sensitive areas such as bird reserves if they did not have to?

Surely the negative publicity would be  bad for business?


This is in reference to Harald Bredahl

Here is our film of his performance at the Clima festival in Molde jan 2018 

Ably filmed by one of us

He demonstrates how much seaweed there is on the Norwegian coast by dividing it up into squares – the red squares are the amount that is torn loose by storms and other actions – the green squares represent the amount fmc/dupont takes per year – Harald Bredahl adds the green squares to the red squares rather than leaving them separate – presumably indicating that it is so little that it could easily be accepted as a natural loss however we say that is wrong because the plants are not naturally torn up by a mechanical trawl nor crushed and left producing poisons (ref Irish paper) the paper also says that for every plant torn up, 2 are left damaged, thus the green squares should be 3 times larger than represented.

This is another attempt by the industry to try to minimize the impact its activities have on our ecology.

our report on the 2018 seaweed trawling debate as part of the 112 clima festival in Molde

No 18)

From the West Highland free press – an article from the company wanting to start commercial seaweed trawling on the Scottish coast.

This came out after a campaign against the introduction of the industry was vastly successful.

This  snip is important for us as it shows how the big firms involved want the governing bodies to think.

Here is the relevant piece from the above

This is fascinating as it says we dont know what we are talking about – that they do.  That they use the best scientists and marine experts .

That sustainability is at the heart of everything they do and that the harvesting method they want to use has been successfully used in Norway for over 50 years.

It is interesting to note that they have not produced any information from scientific papers(that we have seen) confirming the sustainability of the industry –  so far, but we have.

You can follow our information back to its source and find out for yourself.

We would seriously like to be wrong about the environmental and ecological issues but nothing we can find verify shows this – only opinion pieces.

 our short film at the 2018 seaweed trawling debate in Molde (part of the 112 clima festival)

At the event in 2019 there was more time for  debate –

Magnus Tornes identified himself as a marine biologist and made the following statement concerning our new film

“this is the most hair raising i have ever heard – there is a complete lack of understanding”

it is possible that this is more to do with someone daring to stand up against the interests of big business and using the words used in scientific reports (which  is very difficult for anyone to contradict) than it is to do with facts.

The words used in any report are the same words we all use, they have the same meaning for scientists as they do for everyone.

There is a very definite hierarchy in the scientific world, the word of senior researchers is not questioned, this is why we are at a distinct advantage – we have no qualifications, no career which could be damaged by standing up to bullying, but we do know that our publications are carefully read.

We are often contacted by major companies, regulating bodies, students and other organizations seeking information, we do our best to comply.


The Morals of Big companies and corporations.

The desire to compete is something that is induced at a very early age, for some this goes beyond reason and morality.  This is possibly why there is a possible connection between successful businessmen and psychiatric abnormalities.

The question of your product causing death and tremendous suffering has long been a historical record with few consequences – the tobacco industry covering up scientific results clearly showing it is a major cause of cancer – you can still buy tobacco in every country in the world and the fact that people still smoke shows they have not considered the implications seriously enough – not me seems to be the key.

– in the early part of the 19centuary a company called undark convinced its employees to decorate the dials of watches and other instruments with radioactive paint – they were encouraged to lick the brushes covered with paint to a point – net result – every single one died the most agonizing death from radiation poisoning

The 2 corporations  concerned with seaweed trawling on the Norwegian coast

have some of the most dismal records of any.



Their “corporate” faces.

Fmc corp is composed of well over 200 companies with many and varied interests, but most are involved with the exploitation of natural resources and many have been found guilty and received world record fines for pollution of nearly every kind.  Others have received fines for illegal business practices such as price fixing cartels  or even downright fraud.

Their agricultural chemistry branch produces a chemical called Carborufan or alternatively known as furadan, they say it is essential for controlling pests – unfortunately it is also eaten by birds and mammals – it kills with an agonizing death – because of this it has been used to kill large predators such as lions, this has now been recognized and there are some attempts at control but for many years this chemical was available for very little over the counter in African stores

Reaction to concentrated protests have led to a ban – however if the company was responsible then this would not have been necessary – if companies/corporations who are trusted with research never lied or twisted the results the world would be a much healthier place, good for business.

Fmc is also involved with the extraction of Lithium from the Atacama – this is one of the driest environments on earth and is consequently also one of the most fragile ecosystems on our planet – information concerning the ecological damage is available on the net


these are just a few of the issues with fmcs exploitation of the natural world.

It seems the old philosophy of – if it is damaged we can pay for it still exists – it is clear that money will not compensate for the losses that nature has suffered, nor will it compensate for the ultimate loss to humanity and thereby our suffering.

Fmc has also a few issues in the business world

direct fraud

The big question is should any company/corporation be allowed to continue if it is clear that it has a habit of misleading?

We trust not only our nature to these people but ultimately our wellbeing and our lives, do they deserve that trust?


This focuses on the issues from the production of Teflon and how the company behaved –

This is what they say about seaweed.

In reference to undark and other lethal industries the major product from dupont was Teflon –

Domestically it is in nearly every household in the form of coating on cookware and other items subjected to heat.

It is clear that the product is flawed and should never have been allowed on the market because when it reaches the temperature of 220c it starts to release dangerous substances among which is a gas called


This gas is so poisonous it is in section 2 of the chemical weapons register.  The reason why there are no household deaths associated with the substance is that the layer of Teflon on the average pan is so thin that there is simply not enough to do more than make one ill with  flu like symptoms – this is what duponts homepage says – or said

Yes there is enough on a frying pan to kill household birds but not enough for humans though there are a number of  recorded deaths associated with the chemical

The public and the state are still mislead over the dangers of ptfe (Teflon) by clever use of the substance used in the manufacture of Teflon, pfoa

By owning up to its carcinogenic and mutagenic nature the attention of the media is drawn to this and they look no further – endless articles on Teflon and du pont only focus on this, not on the real issue TEFLON should never have been used on domestic cookware.

Though there is not enough teflon on a frying pan to kill of it gets too hot, there is more than enough in a spray can of ptfe (Teflon) produced by many companies worldwide.

Contact with state run health and safety organizations, with independent press, both state and private have produced a deafening silence though they admit the information is correct –

No 21)

As stated above – Teflon produced by the company now controlling seaweed trawling on the Norwegian coast is a dangerous product and should never have been allowed for domestic use, certainly not with food.

Ski wax is usually applied using heat – this has made many people sick – Norwegian broadcasting NRK produced a series of articles on this issue.

It is interesting to note that there seems to be no mention of perfleuroisobutene –

No 22)

This problem is not just restricted to the species of seaweed found on the French coast but also the channel islands and the UK coast – further this is the same with nearly all seaweeds.  The Norwegian seaweed trawling industry is particularly affected as it has to store very large amounts – often several thousand tons at a time.

The gas released by the rotting plants is particularly lethal in enclosed spaces

No 23)

Formalin is used by the seaweed trawling industry to prevent the release of lethal hydrogen sulphide gas from decomposing seaweed plants.

Formalin has been much used for disinfection, storage of scientific specimens, and far more.

Because of its “passive” nature it has not been regarded as especially dangerous, however its real nature became evident in the early 70s and as a result it was banned in all schools and museums as a preservative  – it causes cancers – at least 5 different types are associated with this chemical.

Some exposed workers can be safe for many years then develop the cancers – others take a much shorter time, as a result it has been classed as a 1b2 cancer causing substance – that means you will probably develop cancer if you work with it.

With a figure of near 1 in 3 contracting cancer in their lifetime it is essential that anything which can cause cancer is taken seriously by society and not regulated by the needs of large companies.  The costs of caring for cancer patients by far outweighs the financial gains of society from any industrial activity, thus we are all paying financially for the gain of a few individuals.

From the american cancer society

The man in the article below is a professor who worked on seaweed samples for many years before developing lung cancer – he was informed by his employers that formalin was so harmless you could drink it – they refused to install proper ventilation systems in his work place.  His illness and the cause has now been officially confirmed – yes he got cancer from Formalin.—ble-syk-selv/65239770

It is the only chemical that has been proven to be effective against the production of hydrogen sulphide by rotting seaweed plants.

It is used extensively in the Norwegian seaweed trawling industry though the industry itself says it uses little.

After use the chemical is dumped into the sea

This boat Bona Sea is one of 3 carriers for seaweed on the Norwegian coast – it was stopped by the miljødirektoratet

and researches carried out – it was found to have used – and dumped 24,500 liters of formalin in 9 days – further the industry uses 800,000 liters a year.

it is interesting to note that the article says “illegal dumping” and yet it still goes on.

We know of a compensation case  in Kristiansund in the 90s where all the workers in a seaweed deppo became sick, most with cancer but unfortunately we cannot find any official details. This is confirmed from several sources.

The seaweed deppo at Smørholm has a large tank of formalin on an exposed rock, the pipework is in the air – the sign confirming the contents is too small to be read at any distance, there are no warning signs – none of the workers we have observed wear any protective gear and the weed covered with formalin is exposed to the air as it is dumped from an open conveyor into the cargo hold of the transport ships.  The equivalent of waving a cloth soaked in formalin in the air.

There are many families in the area with new houses currently being built.

The dangers of formalin have been strongly played down by employers, with several actively seeking to influence the public as to its apparently lack of dangers

it is interesting to see how the Wikipedia article on formalin has been changed over the last 5 years



While the significance of the article remains unaltered for those who scan read, it has changed significantly, from 30 ml being enough to kill one it now reads

“it is not acutely toxic as many milliliters are required to kill you”

from “Formalin is highly toxic to all animals regardless of method of intake”

to “It occurs naturally and is an essential intermediate for cellular metabolism in mammals and humans”

No 24)