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Privatising of Seaweed business concerns politicians

The sale of Arramara Teoranta to a private Canadian company, Acadian, is the first step in the privatisation of seaweed and other natural resources found along the seashore according to Sinn Féin councillor Rose Conway-Walsh. Cllr Conway-Walsh said: “The sale of this public asset jeopardises the harvesting rights of seaweed cutters and those who have used seaweed along the Mayo coast for generations. In spite of protestations from the Government that there was no intention to sell off the State-owned Arramara it is now clear that I and my colleagues, Senator Trevor O’Clochartaigh and EU candidate Matt Carthy, were correct in relaying information to constituents that background discussions were taking place to push the sale through without consultation. Erris Seaweed Action Group will continue to work with the Connemara Action Group and other communities to provide a strong cohesive voice to protect the rights of seaweed cutters and coastal communities.” Cllr Conway-Walsh concluded saying: “There is no doubt that there is great untapped potential along our coast for greater use of seaweed and for job creation by adding value to the potential harvest there. But it will only benefit our own people if that harvesting and processing is controlled by the communities living there by way of co-operatives or some similar community based approach. Sinn Féin is encouraging land owners to check their land folios to establish their harvesting rights and coastal communities to work together to ensure the rights to cut seaweed and benefits arising from processing this natural resource are held by communities using a fair trade co-operative model.”

 

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