Gauging the seaweed harvest in Bowser

Regional district director Bill Veenhof believes "there might be room for a sustainable harvest"

Bowser’s representative on the regional district board says he believes seaweed harvesting can be sustainable, but he wants to bring all affected parties together to talk about the issue.

At last Tuesday’s Regional District of Nanaimo’s regular board meeting, Bill Veenhof brought forward a motion asking that all agencies involved in the harvest have a chat.

“I think there might be room for a sustainable harvest,” said Veenhof.

The motion comes after three passionate pleas in February when Deep Bay/Bowser residents urged RDN directors to help them protect the shoreline from a seaweed harvest, which has been operating legally with government-issued licences.

The seaweed lining Deep Bay contains what is known as mazzaella japonica, a resource rich in carrageenans, valued for their gelling, thickening and stabilizing properties. It is estimated the carrageenan industry is worth $700 million worldwide.

Those who support the seaweed harvest claim it will open economic opportunities to tap into a growing industry; those who oppose it allege the harvest will degrade the marine ecosystem and eventually cause permanent environmental damage to the region.

A 36-page study released in 2013, led by former Fisheries and Oceans research scientist Ian Birtwell, criticized the harvest saying seaweed is “a vital component of the marine ecosystem.”

“I’d like to start some dialog between my constituents and government,” said Veenhof. “It’s an emotional issue. We need to start some dialog and we need to listen.”

Just Posted

$3.5M all-season turf field planned for Qualicum Beach

Town seeks grant for community playing surface upgrades

Car theft suspect arrested in Coombs

Vehicle and two motorcyles recovered on Jan. 16

Qualicum Beach council big on support for multi-use cinema proposal

Society asks for 10,000 square feet, gets recommendation to consider with strategic plan

Lincoln stolen from Parksville dealership found near Duncan

Vehicle was located three days later with minor damage

Ballenas student experiment going into space

Science experiment designed by five SD69 students will travel to International Space Station

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan talks forest policy at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Most Read