Managing seaweed

Good resource management science starts with a review, where experiences from elsewhere are examined and impact forecasts are made.

An article and letter recently published in The NEWS have inferred that the work that my co-authors and I undertook in preparing Seaweed Harvesting on the East Coast of Vancouver Island, B.C.: A Biological Review is just a review, implying there is little substance to our conclusions and recommendations.

Your readers should know that good resource management science starts with this type of review, whereby experiences from elsewhere are examined and forecasting is made of the possible impacts of this activity here. This is what we have done in our investigation.

The reason we felt we had to do this work was because the seaweed harvesting agency (provincial Ministry of Agriculture) had not done so before issuing licenses, and therefore had no scientific basis for setting harvesting conditions for this industry. This is not the way we should be managing an extractive industry, particularly one located in an area where ecological impacts could be considerable.

There have been many comments made on this new industry, some of them seemingly without the benefit of ecological knowledge and thereby risking a broader public misunderstanding of key issues.

Regarding the scientific credibility of our report, my co-authors are leading experts in beach ecology and forage fish ecology — key issues in understanding the impacts from this extractive industry.

Our examination of the experience elsewhere, the high values of our local beaches and the significant potential impacts suggested that we should proceed cautiously with this new industry, and we have therefore recommended a moratorium be placed on this industry until a better understanding has been reached on ecological impacts.

This work has yet to be done, and the current investigation being undertaken by VIU (highlighted in the Jan. 15 edition of The NEWS), while addressing some important issues, will not fulfill all the requirements of a formal impact assessment.

We repeat our suggestion of a moratorium until we can understand the full nature of impacts and are therefore in a position to make informed, science-based decisions on this industry.

Ross PetersonNanoose Bay

Just Posted

Oceanside RCMP: ‘Steal from cars, go behind bars’

Man in custody after pair of vehicles broken into in French Creek; officer breaks ankle during arrest

Large ‘problematic’ tree removed from Qualicum Beach golf course

Lombardy Poplar tree taken down by town, member upset

RDN to share cost of Parksville’s goose harvest

City asked regional district to pay one-third of $35K expense

Parksville’s Arrowsmith Lodge and Cokely Manor celebrate 50 years

Week of ‘60s-themed activities starts on April 26

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Most Read