PLANS to mechanically harvest kelp in Bantry Bay have stalled due to a High Court decision to allow a judicial review.
The review, which was sought by a member of the Bantry Bay Protect Our Native Kelp Forest campaign, will examine the process leading up to the decision by Minister Damien English to award a licence to mechanically harvest kelp from 1,800 acres in Bantry Bay by Kerry firm BioAtlantis.
Dolf Dhondt of the Bantry Bay Protect Our Native Kelp Forest campaign said: ‘Now that we have secured this judicial review, there can be no mechanical harvesting of kelp in Bantry Bay for the foreseeable future. We are delighted, and we will continue to campaign to ensure that no mechanical harvesting of kelp ever takes place in Bantry Bay.’
Minister of State for Local Government Damien English, signed the licence and gave the final go-ahead for BioAtlantis to begin harvesting kelp in November 2017, which caused widespread concern for many community, fishing and tourism groups living and working on the shores of Bantry Bay.
In response, BioAtlantis said: ‘We cannot comment on the judicial review. However, we wish to make the point that if BioAtlantis does not harvest the kelp, it will be washed ashore and rot. Is this not a complete waste of a resource?’