Securing the ancient kelp forest of the Celtic countries

Marine scientists have identified kelp off the coast of Scotland, Ireland and Brittany that has survived since the last ice age, almost 16,000 years ago:

“Experts from Heriot-Watt University’s Orkney campus analysed the genetic composition of oarweed from 14 areas across the northern Atlantic ocean.

The team found three distinct genetic clusters.

It is hoped the discovery could help show how marine plant life survives extreme changes in climate.

Dr Andrew Want collected samples from Kirkwall Bay, near his home.

The marine ecologist said the “refugee populations” managed to hang on and survive “amid dramatic changes”.

The Celtic League has been active in recent years in opposition to the industrial harvesting of Kelp in Scotland and Ireland. In October 2018 at the Celtic League AGM in Glasgow Manx branch secretary Allen Moore successfully moved a motion condemning plans for a major industrial venture off Western Scotland. The following month he wrote to the Scottish government ahead of a vote on the matter in the Scottish parliament. The parliament vetoed the plan. Later the League supported opposition to Kelp harvesting off SW Cork.

Since then those keen to exploit the Kelp forests for gain have attempted to reactivate the plans in Scotland via so called ‘field trials’ a move condemned by leading environmentalists such as David Attenborough:

Related links:

https://www.celticleague.net/…/league-protest-ahead-of-sco…/https://www.celticleague.net/…/mechanical-kelp-harvesting-…/

https://www.celticleague.net/…/kelp-harvesting-by-the-back…/

Image: The kelp forests of the Celts – Inset; Allen Moore Mannin branch secretary Celtic League.

Bernard Moffatt
Assistant General Secretary Celtic League (28th July 2020)

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