WEST Cork’s only independent TD, Michael Collins has condemned the decision to give the go-ahead for the mechanical harvesting of kelp in Bantry Bay to begin.
Following the announcement by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government this week that Minister of State Damien English has signed the final document to allow the kelp harvesting to begin Deputy Collins called for the licence, which was granted to biotechnology company, BioAtlantis, to be suspended until a full independent report on the potential effects of mechanically harvesting kelp in Bantry Bay is carried out.
‘From the very beginning I have worked and warned the government and the Minister of the potential damage this decision could cause in Bantry Bay,’ Deputy Collins said.
‘The people who live and work in and around the bay have not been heard. Minister Eoghan Murphy refused to meeting with representatives from the area and now we are facing a treat to the many small inshore fishermen and their families as well as the vital tourism section not only in Bantry Bay but across West Cork as well.’
‘I am calling on the Minister to immediately suspend the licence and to give the people of the area a chance to have their say. Prove to them that this mechanical harvesting of the kelp, which is of vital importance for the health of the bay, will not destroy the beautiful natural environment that has sustained families for generations and has welcomed visitors from across the globe.’