Category: Facts & findings

Our New Seaweed Trawling Film

This is the new seaweed trawling film – it seems that the written word is often not good enough.

In the film several state officials are making statements, this includes the police – the Fiskeridirektoratet and the Sjøfartsdirektoratet.

They are all speaking in official capacities.

Something to be very afraid of…

During our foray into the world of Seaweed trawling we’ve had a number of contacts with FMC – both personally through a chat with Ole Damm Kvilhaug who is responsible for FMCs operations here in Norway and second hand through actions my little group has undertaken.

Its almost like fencing – you work at your opponent hoping they will show a weakness.

For a while we concentrated on illegal trawling – we got one prosecution through but any more were heavily thwarted – so we tried overloaded ships – we filmed the trawlers overloaded and went to the Norwegian maritime authorities – yes they said, they do appear overloaded.  We were given to believe that there had been an immediate prosecution – the ships were suddenly much less loaded – but that only lasted a little while.

So we filmed the ships again – we were told by the Sjøfartsdirektoratet that they had a visit from FMC and that the quality of our videos were now too poor to pick out any details.  As i said fencing.

It brings to mind Monsanto cheerily causing devastation through court rulings against farmers and others – little realizing that it was kicking up a storm of massive proportions – one that is costing them dear.

With all this in mind there is a document produced by the eu on seaweed harvesting problems – essentially I think it says – if you want to start commercial seaweed harvesting and come across any environmental or local governmental problems we will have a team ready that can ease any problems.  This is the document –


Here are some snips

Front page

Got problems?

Got problems?



regulations-hampering-destruction-of-seaweed-forests-in-uk-and-ireland congress-to-being-together-environmentalists-and-policymakers-to-assist-the-industry

I have spoken to a number of colleagues about this and it seems to be a major ramping up of mechanical seaweed harvesting everywhere – roll on – the sooner the damage is visible the sooner it will be stopped. NEVER?

We’ll find out!

We sent Net Algae a question on their question form –

I hope to be able to post their answer soon.

Seaweed Trawling Protest Forms

fAs many of you are no doubt aware seaweed trawling on the Norwegian coast is an ecological disaster – scientific papers show this, articles in the press clearly show this.

Information is carefully managed with  misinformation and public officials happy to mislead the public.

This is a severe breach of the Norwegian constitution Grunnlæven 112 –  110b


Every Norwegian citizen has a right to a clean and sustainable environment – seaweed trawling destroys the animals in the forests and the plants – tearing up the plants redistributes sediments containing pollutants which are then passed up the food chain to humans – some of those pollutants cause infertility among other problems, many are cancer causing.

Norwegian version


click to read then right click and save as picture which can then be printed.


We would like the state in the person of the Prime minister Erna Solberg to know how disturbed we are by this industry

This letter is meant to be downloaded and printed – the letter is not for email.

At the top of the letter is the address for postage – please do not alter the text but add your own under comments if need be.

There are two versions – in English and Norwegian hopefully there will soon be many more in other languages, this is worldwide



Click to read, then right click save as picture and print picture.

What Other Countries Think of Seaweed Trawling

Possibly one of the most influential documents on seaweed harvesting has been produced by the Northern Ireland Environmental health services.  The document is an assembly of information from every angle – with a view to enabling the industry, that is a sustainable industry. Apparently this is a very important document for the industry.

It is possible the Norwegian model is based on the idea that there is so much that it is not possible to damage or change the ecology significantly using current harvesting methods – unfortunately historically in other countries this is clearly not true.  We note that the intensity of the industry here in mid Norway has considerably slackened in the last few months with greater efforts further north in unharvested areas – the information we have that the plants grow back only so many times appears to be true.

This is a snip from the EHS document, it says quite clearly that MECHANICAL HARVESTING could threaten the marine ecosystem –

mechanical seaweed harvesting damages the seabed

Here is the document in full:

seaweed harvesting niehs position statement

Seaweed Trawling in Norway’s Seabird Reserves

Many seabird colonies on Norway’s coast are experiencing a massive downfall in population, some as much as 2/3rds – many of these colonies are in areas where seaweed trawling occurs.

The various ornithological organizations we have spoken to say this is due to the ecology being changed by a massive invasion of mackerel – it seems logical to assume that if the habitat for most of the food for the birds is removed, so will the “food ” go elsewhere.  In fact the habitat does not even have to be removed for there to be a change in the ecology of the seaweed beds – the plants have a chemical defense against predation – the destruction of some of the plants by dredges would be enough to trigger this.

There is currently a great deal of interest in this matter in Bergens Fylkestingret with questions being asked about who gave permission for trawling in the bird reserves?

Here we can confirm that there is trawling in 97 bird reserves – 35 are open for trawling all the time and the others are supposedly closed during the hatching season.

259148-kongelig_resolusjon_om_taretraling this is the document concerned

and here are some snips:

This is the front page with the bird colonies listed:

Front page of sjøfugl taretråling

This mentions the 97 bird reserves:


Fish Farming – A Ruthless Exploitation of Norway’s Coast The way things are done in industry in Norway is usually direct and no fuss.

Fish farms averøy

Thus we have companies and scientists from the uk finding it easier to install wave energy test equipment here than in the uk because one phone call fixed it.

This is enviable for profit but what is the cost of this type of business to the environment?

Norway’s Government clearly relies on the small population and the difficulty of any organized and linked opposition – strict laws are bent or avoided altogether – so while on paper the country looks fine the reality is very different.

In our fight against FMC corp and in particular FMC health and nutrition the company that is commercially harvesting seaweed on the Norwegian coast, we have had several successful prosecutions – but each time some state organization has tried to stop our actions and protect the company concerned – this includes the police and a number of the state regulatory bodies who should know better. Norway, you should be ashamed about this!!

This article came from a friend in the area – she was very distressed at reading this – and so was I – it is quite unbelievable – but our experience seems to bear this out – something dreadful is being allowed to happen on our coast and it is being largely ignored.

Noen Observasjoner i litteraturen 2009 og 1963.

From: Jens
Subject: Noen observasjoner i litteraturen 2009 og 1963.

Jeg leste et par rapporter om tare, og jeg fant  et par interessante utsagn i disse. Kun for informasjon, men gir bra innblikk i hva som rørte seg for et par år siden.

Første fra 2009

(side 9 av 33) “Energiproduksjon kan for eksempel kombineres med ekstraksjon av alginat. Alginat utgjør 20-30% av tørrstoffet i tare slik at en produksjon på for eksempel 75 tonn våt vekt tare pr hektar kan gi et utbytte på 4,5 tonn alginat i tilegg til 6 tonn fermenterbart sukker. Det globale markedet for alginat er på ca 30 000 tonn og har en verdi på om lag 36 000-63 000 NOK pr tonn. 500 000 tonn tare dekker alginatmarkedet, og det kan derfor ikke budsjetteres med inntekter fra alginat utover dette, sammenholdt med data for høsting av tare til samme formål.”

“Frankrike, som høster ca 75tonn tare årlig, vurderer å forby tarehøsting på bakgrunn av for lite kjennskap til effekter på biodiversitet ved høsting og et ”føre var” prinsipp fra forvaltningen med hensyn til bærekraftig utnyttelse av marine ressurser.”

Siste fra 1963

Da Protan (forløperen til FMC Biopolymer) kjempet innbitt, og litt om opprinnelsen til taretråling.

(side 13) “Hvorfor Protan kritiserer innsatsen for å få klarhet i retten til tang og tare, stiller Sørensen seg helt uforståelig til, og konkluderer den lange redegjørelsen til NTNF med følgende: ”. . Jeg beklager å måtte meddele….”

(side 14) “Bare noen få måneder senere, i oktober 1963, gjentar Protan sine bekymringer og protesterer mot NITTs fortsatte kjemitekniske forsøk med alginatekstraksjon fra fersk stortare.” Så den industrien er ikke nybegynnere i å bearbeide sine omgivelser.

Vennlig hilsen