Seaweed-harvesting law change aims to help new industries

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UPDATED laws governing the harvesting of seaweed on Jersey’s beaches were brought into effect by the States this week.

Members, in a standing vote, approved Environment Minister John Young’s proposition to enact the aquatic resources laws, which were first approved five years ago.

The decision will bring about the introduction of licences to harvest seaweed for commercial purposes and ban mechanical harvesting. No restrictions will be placed on the collection of sea lettuce and storm-cast weed, however.

The move will also repeal outdated laws, which were not being enforced, that restricted the harvesting of seaweed between 1 February and 30 April between sunrise and sunset from Monday to Saturday.

It is hoped that the new regime will help cottage industries, such as culinary and medicinal businesses, to develop in the Island.

Also during the sitting, proposals to increase the lodging deadline for the Government Plan were withdrawn by the Privileges and Procedures Committee.

The panel, which oversees how the States Assembly functions, had called for the lodging period for the main document to be extended from 12 to 14 weeks, and from two to three weeks for amendments.

But chairman Deputy Russell Labey withdrew the proposition after a number of Members said they would vote against it because this year’s Government Plan had already been lodged and they felt the schedule for it should not be changed.

A series of other propositions lodged by the committee were passed, including moves for politicians to be required to declare interests in subsidiaries of companies they own, greater flexibility to be given to Members to submit questions before States sittings and for Scrutiny panel heads to be called chairs instead of chairmen or chairwomen, should they wish.


External Relations Minister Ian Gorst’s proposition to change the law so that the Jersey Financial Services Commission is required to pass to him any information that would assist with applying sanctions and asset freeze orders on individuals was also passed.

A proposal to transfer two members of staff who man the TETRA radio service at the Harbour and Airport back to the government from the Ports of Jersey was also approved.

And the States approved the extension of the term of office of the States Greffier, Mark Egan, for a further five years after his present tenure expires on 6 December 2020.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath


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