The mechanical harvesting of kelp by dredging is to be banned in Scotland after Holyrood voted in favour of legislation proposed by a Green MSP.
Mark Ruskell’s amendment to the Scottish Crown Estate Bill won support from the government and MSPs from all parties bar the Tories.
The legislation outlaws any form of kelp harvesting which prevents the plant from re-growing, potentially devastating the habitats of the many species of fish that live in kelp forests.
Mark Ruskell MSP, the Scottish Greens’ environment spokesperson, said: “Congratulations to the coastal communities throughout Scotland who have campaigned tirelessly for the Scottish Government to have a change of heart.
“Kelp forests are hugely important to our marine environment. They dampen waves, protect coastal communities from flooding and erosion, act as a habitat for hundreds of species including commercial fish and store more carbon than the rainforest.
“Greens have been working extremely hard to ensure unsustainable dredging practices are prohibited in legislation and I am delighted that this has now been realised.”