Facts & findings

What Got Us Started?

We live on the west coast of Norway.

It is a wild and picturesque place surrounded by mountains and sea – and full of wildlife. Having observed large trawlers greedily grubbing on the seabed near to land with huge steel dredges I felt outraged and puzzled – why was this allowed – why was Norway who prided itself so much on its nature allowing this OUTRAGE.  Didn’t people know about the delicate ANIMALS that lived there, didn’t they know about the BIRDS that lived off the animals there – the FISH that only bred there – the FISH that lived ONLY there, DIDN’T THEY CARE!!!

I met Johan a local farmer, fisherman who felt the same – we studied the boats and got the maps – soon enough we found out where and when they were allowed (what a contentious issue).  Then I began the internet research….

What I found was truly alarming – but this site is not intended to be a conspiracy theory site – the home of spurious documents produced by fertile imaginations with no scientific fact or background. This is meant for serious researchers and for those who have an interest but have no clue where to look or are unaware of what is happening. One company has the right to harvest on the Norwegian coastline.  FMC biopolymers.

This company is one of a group of 9 companies in the FMC CORPORATION www.encyclopedia.com/topic/FMC_Corp.aspx. Further research reveals that one of these companies produces an insecticide so poisonous that it is used in Tanzania to KILL LIONS.  The American food and drug administration has banned Furadan and yet this is what the company says www.furadanfacts.com/FAQs.aspx. Another is mining LITHIUM mainly used in the batteries of environmentally friendly electric cars – this mining is causing PERMANENT ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE in one of the worlds most fragile ecosystems www.meridian-int-res.com/Projects/Lithium_Microscope.pdf. Recently the fmc corp was fined 25 MILLION EUROS for operating a price fixing cartel –www.brickcourt.co.uk/news/29-06-2011—parent-company-liability-test-applied-by-general-court-upholding-25-million-euro-fine-on-fmc-companies-in-hydrogen-peroxide-cartel.asp

Fmc companies are also responsible for a number of contaminated sites worldwide, contaminants include radiation and solvents.  (For more information see BERTRAMS BLOG on this site)

The procedure used to harvest the seaweed on the Norwegian coast requires the removal of the seaweed before it is fully mature (it takes 6 to 9 years before full biological diversity is restored – the weed is harvested every 4 to 5 years) This is mainly because some of the organisms interfere with the production and extraction of alginate.  in other words there is a systematic attempt to reduce the amount of wildlife on the Norwegian coast.  FMC has access to Norway’s BIRD RESERVES.

Papers also reveal that FMC S activities re seaweed harvesting is worldwide – one country FMC is involved with Peru, banned seaweed harvesting in 2008 but it still continues – Peru had a big dieback of marine mammals and birds in January 2012 – mainly due to starvation – possibly linked to the marine current El Niño but these animals also feed in the seaweed forests.


www.youtube.com/watch JOHANS VIDEO – Expressing his anger and how he feels on the subject.

www.youtube.com/watch THIS IS THE SECOND VIDEO

6 comments on “What Got Us Started?

  1. 15 Oct 2013
    It’s very useful to have someone monitoring this activity as a 3rd part, that wil risk to ask the “uncomfortable” and keep close eye with this activity.
    We’ve got one nature, and we all carry the common responsibility to deliver that one on to our coming generations as or in better shape than we “received” it.
    The technology that is applied by FMC is very outdated, that will damage the seafloor big time, crush other organisms and the like.
    In Norway there has been a ban against “bottomtrawling” for a long time, and the big surprise is that “seaweedtrawling” is not in same class as “bottomtrawlers”.
    And the other aspect is that the rawmaterial is transported a long distance leaving CO2 SOx NOx pollution to produce a “healthy” product. What about the method for conservation of rawmaterial, Formalin has been mentioned, is that really true? Does someone in 2013 use Formalin to conserve big amounts of seaweed?
    In earlier days “seaweedtrawlers” was connected to a local community as any fisherman, but nowadays the trawlers are “industrial” with no other competition because the market is artificial with respsct to pricing of rawmaterial. The efficiency outruns the environmental concerns big time, due to time & quanity stress artificially put on the crew. The fabrication/prosess-plants can’t get enough quantity as it is, probably dt very low efficiency when it comes to harvestingmethod leaving a lot of seaweed damaged and drifting. This scenario must be changed immediateley by the FMC themselves, Norway is no banana-republic where people can be brought to silence, NO WAY!

    1. Jens, thanks for your comment – you are quite right about our nature – here in Norway we have very little awareness of what is happening elsewhere, so perhaps we do not care for our nature as much as we should – for instance in the uk tare tråling is not allowed – when it earns so much money that is a bit strange but then perhaps their attitude is slightly different and their ministers do not have commercial interests in exploiting nature.

      I dont think health comes into this – fmc corporation has a long record of exploiting nauture and leaving devastation – it even managed to pollute the missippi river, it seems that all its big polluting plants were in places of poor economy so when the problems began all they had to do was offer the right kind of incentive and the complaints died – a classic was to get a trading estate built on top of the polluted sites.

      They are very good at using emotive issues – the seaweed is used for medicine – from what i understand the medicinal use is mostly to replace fillers – the only vital use im aware of is in burns bandages – but when you learn how much cultivation there is it is easy to come to the conclusion that the real reason is money. Imagine a agricultural activity where you dont have to fertalise,or even plant your crop, all you have to do is remove it.

      I think formalin has to be used otherwise the bacteria of decomposition produce hydrogen sulphide which is as poisonous as cyanide gas – of course the large piles of seaweed cast ashore after the harvesting do that and the effect is unknown – presumably this also happens on the seabed where there are large drifts of the plants.

      If people are concerned about tretråling then they must act – i am and this is what i do – but for it to have any effect we must act together –

  2. Lundefugl, the black/white fellow with colourful “nebb” i struggleing to find sufficient food nearby hatchingareas, could it be lack of seaweed-areas?

    And I found another one concerning bottom-trawling that tells us something about fuelconsumption that the final product has to carry.

    “Bunntråling etter fisk og reke er blant de viktigste fiskeriene i Norge, men høye energipriser har redusert lønnsomheten betydelig. I dette prosjektet skal næringa i samarbeid med forskningsmiljøer utvikle nye metoder og verktøy som setter fiskerne i stand til å benytte redskapen så energieffektivt som mulig. Dette vil også ha positive miljømessige konsekvenser.

    Trålernæringen sliter i dag med høye energipriser. Et typisk havgående fartøy for bunntrålfiske etter hvitfisk eller reker kan i dag bruke 10 til 15 tusen liter bunkersolje pr. driftsdøgn, eller rundt 4 millioner liter hvert år. Ettersom dette er en vesentlig andel av driftkostnadene er lønnsomheten svært avhengig av energiforbruket.

    Undersøkelser viser at de fleste fartøy har potensial for å redusere omkring 20% av tauekrafta ved å rigge om trålredskapen sin uten at det påvirker fangsteffektiviteten. Kraftbesparelser opp mot 20% kan bety omkring 100 millioner kroner mindre i årlige drivstoffkostnader for den norske trålerflåten ved en oljepris på nåværende nivå.”



    “Prosjektet ”Miljøeffekter av fiske med trål og snurrevad” var et samarbeid mellom Institutt for fiskeri og marinbiologi ved Universitetet i Bergen og Fangstseksjonen ved Havforskingsinstituttet. Med støtte frå Norges Forskningsråd, ble det gjort flere tokt rundt Bjørnøya for å undersøke hvilke effekter fiske med bunntrål kan ha på havbunnen.
    Publisert: 28.02.2005 – Oppdatert: 30.06.2009

    Spor av bunntrål (video) Videoklippet viser spor av tråldører i bunnsedimenter (sporene kommer til syne når tidsangivelsen inne i bildet er mellom 1:20:16 og 1:20:19). Videokameratet er plassert på en såkalt Sneli-slede som trekkes over bunnen.

    Miljøeffektar av botntråling Fiske langs havbotnen har vore vanleg i mange hundre år. Men omfanget og intensiteten i fisket har auka svært mykje det siste hundreåret. I dag vert fisket sett på som ein av dei viktigaste kjeldene til forstyrring av dei marine økosystema.

    Forsøk med botntrål ved Bjørnøya viser at trålinga førde til ein resuspensjon av dei øvste sedimentlaga. Nedgravne artar vart omfordelte og kom opp til overflata av havbotnen. Eit fåtal av dyra fekk direkte skade av trålinga. Fem månader etter påverknaden var trålspora borte.”


    But bottomtrawling like in seaweed-areas with rockbed will for sure damage close to all creatures inside the track of the sledges, leaving behind crushed creatures, raising a question about wellbeing of wildlife. If we raise our voice against illegal hgunting in Africa that injures animals left in pain, then marine wildlife is in title of the same protection and “animal-protection”.

    The “sledge-method” is a very outdated and harmful technology, it also appears to very little efficient to get most of “the catch” onboard, leaving a lot of the catch drifting/wasted.

    And the total amount of seaweed that has been suggested has to be documented by far more certain methods. If the number was actually making sense, then why is it necessary for FMC Biopolymer to travel far to get the required amount.

    Check NIVA-report


    where the quantity of seaweed has been severly reduced by natural occuring processes since early prox 2000 in Skagerak, and the figures for Nordland/Troms/finnmark seems very low per 2013. When is the mentioned quantity from NIVAs model actually stated, and by what kind of methods, and who was actually arriving at that quantity, can this calculations of quantity be reconstructed/validated to prove its true origin ultimo 2013?

    1. There are a great number of questions that should be asked of the industry, for instance if they take only .3% of the tare on the norwegian coast why do they need to trawl all of it?
      I think the real reason is they want to condition the seaweed forests to have less epiphytes as they can and probably do affect the alginate quality.
      In other words they are deliberatly trying to reduce the amount of wildlife on the Norwegian coast.
      At the conference in Trondheim it was clear that the marine biologisits present had no idea or knew nothing about iodine release as a defence mechanism by seaweed when it is disturbed, nor about the thiamine deficiency syndrome.
      It is entirely possible that the seabird feeding patterns are being changed because their prey animals are no longer in the seaweed forests, driven out by defence chemicals – if this is the case then it is reasonable to assume that the food chain no longer contains the necessary vitamins.
      i have tried to speak to many ornithologists and ornithological organisations over this issue but have recieved no reply.

      If this is true then it may be the reason why there have been major die offs of seabirds and mammals in other countries such as peru and chile
      – of course if this is proven to be the case then it would be a clear case of seaweed harvesting being responsible – i seriously doubt weather any country would allow this activity to take place.

  3. 21st oct 2013
    Newspaper online
    points toward that oceans are not able to cope with human greed when it comes to fishing and exploiting all opportunities that arises.
    We humans are too well equipped these days, and the impact of our actions shows up some time later.
    The catch of “everything” “everywhere” can lead to disasters.
    When the natural local responsibilty/authority and unpronounced inner will to carry on in a sustainable manner fails, is/has been replaced by pure “money in” / “money out” thinking by few big “players”, then the whole natural balance is put into very uncertain “play”. It’s normally not a single cause that make a “manmade catastrophy” happen, but there will be several natural or/and man-made incididents cascading and aligning. People in generations before ours have always been very careful and devouted in their relations with “mother nature”.
    But many people in our days will always look at the amount of money in the bank to decide on how “rich” they’ve become, but most people will still feel that a nature that is alive and productive will be the only true value to them and the generations to follow. There’s no point having money in the bank if there is no fish or other food to buy or fish.
    So if a huge man-made pollution catastrophy should occur at the same time as when we have depleted our natural habitats down to a “safe minimum”, then it could easily threaten our existance as free people for decades to come.
    The organizations that harvest local resources for “global reasons” should be aware of their responsibility to play in a transparent way, when it comes to areas being harvested, quantities, fuelconsumption, planned and ongoing harvesting, applied chemicals, QHSE, documention of any lasting damages, resources going back to the society, points of contacts when it comes to negotiating with each involved country authorities and other keyinformation that concerns other peoples wellbeing, especially fishermen and coastal people that get their equipment moved or removed by industrial activity along our coast/shoreline.

    1. The American company currently enjoying the monopoly of harvesting seaweed on the Norwegian coast scraping the seabed is one of 9 companys in the FMC corporation – they have recieved record fines for nearly every kind of environmental pollution and destruction, they have also recieved record fines for price fixing cartels, even direct fraud and yet the Norwegian government allows them to continue,( it would be most interesting to do a financial check into how much fmc biopolymers actually earns and pays in tax!)
      The problem is not what the companies do but what we allow them to get away with. For instance the so called environmentaly friendly el cars(one fmc lithium http://www.fmclithium.com/)- the batteries are made from Lithium – the lithium mainly comes from the Atacama desert in Chile and Peru – large amounts of water are required for extraction – those areas are deserts – the only water there is vital for the survival of aincient subsistance farmers and a very fragile ecosystem. Papers detailing this are easily available on the internet so why has the bbc – nrk etc not picked up on this??
      Doubtless every time this issue comes up, the bosses veto the articles – perhaps this is why such website as this are important.

      The quality of life is something many of us forget in our drive to sucess. Real sucess is not how others measure your life, but how you feel about it. If you are so buisy earning money to put diesel into the tank of your luxury yacht that you never go out in it, what is the point in having one?

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