Mon 3 Dec, 2018

This is a great success for all the local people who have been campaigning so hard to save the seabed from destruction Irene Brandt

The Scottish Green Party has hailed victory in the fight to ban the mechanical harvesting of kelp by dredging.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform confirmed that she will support Green plans to prohibit the practice, in response to a question from Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie

Mr Finnie raised the issue at Topical Question Time in the Parliament this afternoon (20 Nov 2018), and Ms Cunningham confirmed that she would back Green changes to prohibit the practice when the Scottish Crown Estate Bill is debated for the final time tomorrow.

The amendments were brought by Finnie’s colleague, the Party’s Environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP.

Commenting afterwards Mr Finnie said:

“I am delighted that the Cabinet Secretary has indicated she will back Green plans to prohibit the mechanical harvesting of kelp by dredging. My constituents on the west coast have engaged in an extremely effective campaign and deserve to be commended for their great efforts in securing this change of heart by the Scottish Government.”

Irene Brandt, Scottish Green Party candidate in the local by-election in Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh said:

“This is a great success for all the local people who have been campaigning so hard to save the seabed from destruction. We have to keep up the pressure to make sure the Scottish government do not renege on their promise to protect the marine environment from dangerous exploitation of any kind.”

Mr Ruskell said:

“Kelp forests are hugely important to our marine environment. They dampen waves, protecting coastal communities from flooding and erosion, act as a habitat for hundreds of species, and store more carbon dioxide than the rainforest. Greens have been working extremely hard to ensure that the practice of dredging for kelp is prohibited in legislation, and I am delighted that the Scottish Government will now back my proposals to save Scotland’s kelp forests.”

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