Vancouver Island University researchers say gathering seaweed from beaches in the Deep Bay area doesn’t have a significant environmental impact.
VIU was brought in to study the harvest of Mazzaella Japonica.
It washes up on shore in large amounts every winter and just happens to be a highly valuable additive for food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
The province has been licencing a limited harvest, over the objections of people who say it was risking environmental damage.
Brian Kingzett, is the Manager of VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station.
“There is the first narrative that is being seen by the harvesters that this is an economic opportunity, that this is perhaps a sustainable harvest and that it’s adding employment on the coast.”
Kingzett says they concluded there’s a minimal environmental and social impact. As a result, the province has OK’d five licenses, to harvest 2000 tonnes this year.