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Seaweed deal needs to be explained - MEP 09.05.14

MEP Marian Harkin has urged the Government to say whether any exclusive seaweed harvesting rights have been granted to a foreign private company.
She was expressing concern that Aramara Teo, the State-owned Connemara based seaweed processor has been sold to Canadian company Acadian SeaPlants.
“This deal has been shrouded in secrecy and there is an urgent need to immediately clarify the position of seaweed harvesters and of those who currently hold licenses to harvest”, said Ms Harkin.
The deal should not impair in any way the ability of current seaweed processors to access raw material and an immediate statement from the Government on this issue is necessary, she said.
MEP Marian Harkin.
“It would make sense at this time for all of those who earn their livelihoods from seaweed and especially the harvesters to come together in some form of unified entity to protect their interests and to ensure that seaweed will, in the future, continue to be harvested in a sustainable way”, she said.
As an "immediate priority", she said the Government should clarify if any special arrangements have been made with Acadian SeaPlants for exclusive harvesting rights in any part of the coast of the west of Ireland.
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