Scottish Greens Conference Opposes Kelp Dredging

“If the Scottish Government give the go ahead to the destructive process it would devastate the biodiversity which kelp forests supports.”

Local MSP John Finnie, Scottish Greens has won backing for a motion opposing plans to dredge for kelp off the west coast, at the Scottish Green Party annual conference this weekend.

John Finnie at Greens Conference

Mr Finnie brought the motion following a high profile public campaign in opposition to Marine Biopolymers Ltd plans to mechanically dredge kelp forests around coastal and island communities.

Opponents of the plans have pointed to the potential impact on the marine habitats that kelp forests support and the role kelp plays dampening waves, which helps to reduce coastal erosion and prevents severe flooding.

Concerns have also been expressed about the impact kelp dredging could have on fishing and other jobs that the marine environment supports. Additionally, Mr Finnie highlighted the role of kelp forests in storing greenhouses gases, an extremely important factor as we face up to the devastating realities of climate change.

John Finnie said:

“Unlike some other political parties, party members decide Scottish Green Party policy. I was therefore pleased to have the opportunity to bring forward this motion and I am extremely grateful to receive the unanimous backing of conference for my stance in opposition to mechanical kelp dredging.

“If the Scottish Government give the go ahead to the destructive process it would devastate the biodiversity which kelp forests supports.

“Low lying communities, like on Tiree, are also understandably concerned that the vital role kelp plays in dampening the power of waves would be undermined if it were removed on an industrial scale. This would likely lead to an increase in coastal erosion and flooding.

“Kelp acts as a store for greenhouse gasses and it’s destruction would be catastrophic. Giving the go ahead to this practice in light of everything we know about climate change would be grossly negligent.

“The community campaigners who have brought this issue into the public consciousness, eliciting over 2300 responses to Marine Scotland’s scoping consultation, deserve immense credit and can be assured that along with my Green MSP colleagues I will explore every avenue to prevent this destructive process from taking place.”

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photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


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