LARGE-scale mechanical harvesting of seaweed may soon proceed in Bantry Bay, following a decision of the High Court yesterday.
Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy declined to grant an injunction sought by a West Cork man, which would have blocked the extraction of the seaweed.
Tralee-based BioAtlantis was granted a licence to extract the kelp from over 1,860 acres of the bay in 2014.
John Casey from Allihies, a member of local campaign group 'Bantry Bay - Protect our Native Kelp Forests', had sought the injunction.
The barrister for Mr Casey had argued that the extraction would constitute a material change of use under the terms of the Planning and Development Act 2000, and should not have proceeded without planning permission.
The High Court rejected that argument, stating the planning acts regulate human activity, whereas the wild flora and fauna of the sea are regulated by ministerial licence.
The case took ten days to be heard. The licence is also subject to a judicial review which is due to begin on June 25th and may take up to three days.
Full report in next week’s Star.