Jersey marine law could 'help new businesses'

Seaweed Mr Syvret said the best place for seaweed in Jersey was in St Ouen

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A Jersey marine biologist said a change in the law controlling the collection of seaweed should help businesses.

Andrew Syvret said the current rules restricting collection to certain times of year were quaint and out of date.

Jersey fisheries officer, Dr Jonathan Shrives, said a new aquatic resources law was currently being drafted.

He said it would address the harvesting of any species not covered by current Jersey fisheries law that regulates fish and shellfish fishing.

Dr Shrives said: "It is currently in the law drafting stage and also out for stakeholder consultation.

"A research process will establish areas and amounts of harvesting for seaweed along with best practice for methodology."

There are currently only certain times of the year seaweed can be collected from Jersey's beaches, and not at all on a Sunday.

Mr Syvret said some of Jersey's seaweed had commercial value and was already being sold to restaurants in London and Paris.

Start Quote

One of the things I don't want to see is mechanical harvesting, we should be harvesting by hand, small quantities.”

End Quote Andrew Syvret Marine Biologist

He said he had been given Genuine Jersey status for the products he was creating from the seaweed and was even working with the cosmetic giant Estee Lauder.

"One of the things I don't want to see is mechanical harvesting, we should be harvesting by hand, small quantities," he said.

"There is a group of us that have been lobbying for a while now because some of the ormer farmers would like to harvest seaweed in the summer to feed their ormers [sea snails]."

Mr Syvret said if Jersey did things right it could find itself at the centre of high demand for seaweed produce.

He said: "We dry it, we prepare it, we sell it fresh and one Michelin-star chef over here has been taking it direct off the beach within 20 minutes of me cutting it off the beach with a pair of scissors. In his own words, he has never tasted anything like it."

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