Because wild harvesting too often leads to over harvesting. Especially in countries without Government supervision, which is the vast majority of countries in the EU. Ireland's coast is the latest victim of a little hype created around 1 type of seaweed. The people behind it have not figured out how to go about it in a sustainable manner. The business plan is flawed. Next year, they might be gone, and another little company will have another seaweed idea. Do we let them do the damage and disappear without being held acccountable, once they've destroyed that piece of coast, and that type of seaweed there?
Seaweed is to the sea what trees are on land. IT IS NOT A LIMITLESS RESOURCE ! And the people cutting it away do not know what is "safe to remove." They may say they do, but they do not base that on scientific data. Species are disappearing as a result. The balance in the sea is threatened by removing millions of kilo's of natural seaweed beds. In the EU, we're talking about an FAO tracked amount of almost 300 million kilo's, and this is growing every year with 10%. That means that in just a few years, we'll reach levels that Chili was dealing with..
And Chili is the good news! In 2016, the Government there banned the practice of wild harvesting in it's entirety, to stimulate investment of time and money into the much more responsible practice of sustainable seaweed cultivation. In Chili, thousands of one-man wild harvesters made for an entire seaweed industry, that stripped the coast continually. The damage became so seriious that the Government had to stop it. Not modify, or inpose quota's since they knew nothing of that would have worked. Chili had to ban wild harvesting to safe its sea. This article quotes the scientists that were part of this development. http://www.mo.be./nieuws/zeewier-booming-business-chili
Zeewaar calls for all EU governments of countries with coastal zones, to investigate seaweed wild harvesting practices, to inplement monitoring practices, and to start protecting their seas against this irresponsible practice that destroys our seas and oceans.
And Zeewaar invites any and all enterpreneurs who seriously want to invest time and money into setting up sustainable seaweed farms in their regions - to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org