With enhanced conditions to further support sustainable harvesting, the Ministry of Agriculture is offering three Mazzaella japonica harvest licences for the 2014 season.
The licences, for the Deep Bay and Bowser area, will allow each holder to harvest a maximum of 300 tonnes, helping to ensure an environmentally sustainable approach to harvesting, while providing for local jobs.
The new licence conditions were implemented based on feedback from the local community, First Nations, industry and governments and include further measures to protect the foreshore environment, minimize disturbance to local residents, and increase inspection and enforcement methods.
As in previous seasons, the licence conditions continue to emphasize that:
- Harvesting must be done in an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable manner.
- Harvesting can only be conducted by hand on five kilometres of beach near Bowser, and only plants that have washed up to the upper intertidal zone are permitted to be harvested.
- Access to the harvest area is limited to one, well-maintained tracked vehicle or shallow-draft boat. No wheeled vehicles or trailers are permitted on the foreshore.
Additional licence conditions implemented this year include:
- Harvesting must be conducted during daylight hours and on weekdays only between Sept. 15, 2014, and Feb. 15, 2015, ending ahead of the typical early March spawning season for Pacific herring and the Brant goose migration.
- Licence holders are required to immediately cease harvesting in the event herring eggs are observed, a herring fishery is opened, or annual bird migrations occur in the licence area.
As in previous years, provincial fisheries inspectors will monitor the harvest. The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to evaluate licence conditions over the harvest season, and consider the results and any feedback from the community in adjudicating licence applications in subsequent years using an adaptive management approach.
Mazzaella japonica is an introduced seaweed species to B.C. waters and is used internationally as a stabilizer in the food processing and cosmetics industries.
Detailed information on beach-cast seaweed harvesting:
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (cell)