Support Local West Cork Seaweed Farm to get an Aquaculture license to grow edible seaweeds in Dunmanus bay.

 

On behalf of Roaring Water Sea Vegetable Co Ltd

We have been refused an Aquaculture license for the third time to grow edible seaweeds in Dunmanus bay.

Our first application was in Roaring Water bay on the site of the old Seaweed co-op and we made a bid of €5000 to take over the farm but the committee chose to give it to a local mussel farmer, under whose kind auspices we have been running the site growing brown seaweeds –Wakame, Sugar Kelp and Digitata Kelp for 7 years.

As the license is not in the company name we have been unable to benefit of 50% grants and all the lines, buoys and ground tackle need replacing. The licensee plans to use the site for collecting Mussel spat so we made an application in 2017 for a site in Bantry bay at Gortnakilla under the guidance of the BIM who are responsible for Aquaculture enterprise. Having purchased the Ordnance Survey plans and paid a draughtsman to draw out detailed diagrams we were told the site is already under application by Bantry mussels although it has remained empty for the last 7 years. This site is rather exposed and we were told by our BIM representative that Mussel lines would blow away.

By contrast seaweed is neutrally buoyant so takes far less anchoring and the species in question love fresh oxygenated Atlantic water. So our next application in 2018 was in Dunmanus bay in the lee of Carbery island which is a very fertile site but protected by the island from high seas. There were local objections which we refuted, namely access to Carbery Island, obstruction to local fishing boats, visual impact and possible effects on the ecosystem of the bay. The refusal stated the site is to exposed although its less exposed than Gortnakilla which has been allowed.

Seaweed farming is the most benign form of aquaculture and actually encourages fish stocks, and acts as a kind of filter against the detritus from human activity like salmon farms. Our operation will be small scale, providing our artisan kitchen with high quality sea vegetable and providing local employment. The global market for sea vegetable is just opening up, since the disaster at Fukushima we have been exporting to Japan, who appreciate the purity of Irish grown species.

Given a license we had been granted planning permission to build a purpose built production unit incorporating a drying room, milling room, smokehouse, and kitchen.

The west of Ireland is a natural environment for seaweed farming and our company has helped pioneer the growing and production of unique seaweed products , after 10 years developing the business we are asking for a license to continue and share our expertise and provide local employment.

The limited company is willing to be turned back to a community based co-op, as it originally started, run by local people in an area of low employment, if a committed core group of people can be found, particularly with office skills,  to create a model of sustainable aquaculture.

Please sign this petition with address or e-mail to support us, thank you.


Paul Cobb, ROARING WATER SEA VEGATABLE COMPANY.    Contact the author of the petition

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