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Young SeaSavers Lobby To Ban Kelp Dredging in Scotland

Members of Ullapool Sea Savers campaign outside the Scottish Parliament, Nov....

Credit: @Ullapool Sea Savers

Above: Members of Ullapool Sea Savers campaign outside the Scottish Parliament, Nov. 21, 2018.

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On the west coast of Scotland, a group of middle school kids played a role in a successful campaign to stop mechanical dredging of kelp, a seaweed that grows in underwater forests and is used in commercial products like soap, some foods and medications. Kelp absorbs carbon dioxide, a bit like forest trees do, and the kelp forests are home to many marine species.

Photo credit: Kira Patterson

Members of the Ullapool Sea Savers are interviewed by Alison St John on the jetty, December 5th, 2018

But companies are finding an increasing number of commercial uses for kelp, and a Scottish company, Marine Biopolymers, wants to apply a new dredging technique that conservationists say could destroy the marine ecosystem. The Ullapool Sea Savers, a group of environmentally-minded middle school students, lobbied to prevent the wholesale dredging operation, and the Scottish Parliament voted in November to ban the removal of entire kelp plants for commercial use.

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