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SOS Jersey’s answer to the the Environment Minister: Read your briefing paper!
 
You may have noticed in yesterday’s JEP Environment Minister Steve Luce’s stance on the use of Jersey oysters to help with the sea lettuce problem. The very shouty headline gives the impression he is totally against it, though in the content he says he has misgivings but is up for discussion. He also gives his reasons, but we disagree with them.

 
Sea lettuce problems in Jersey - SOS Jersey are backing a potential solution!
Sea lettuce problems in Jersey – SOS Jersey are backing a potential solution!

We feel if the Minister had read the full and detailed briefing supplied to him, he would not have made the several erroneous comments he did. For example, contrary to what he claims, the Jersey oyster bags would NOT be fixed to trestles as at Grouville, and would be very much out of the way.

 
The JEP article in question is here.
 
Frankly, the approach so far of wringing and their hands and saying ‘woe is me, nothing can be done’ is just not on; one would think the COM would be looking at all possible routes to a solution to this blight.
 
Sea Lettuce covers St Aubin's Bay. Photo courtesy of Robin Fitzgerald Aerial Photography
Sea Lettuce covers St Aubin’s Bay. Photo courtesy of Robin Fitzgerald Aerial Photography

We would like to see the full, correct facts being taken to the Council of Ministers so they can make informed decisions. They could also look online at similar studies; for example, a brief browse on Google shows the Blue Marine Foundation is very keen on using oysters to help control nitrate levels.

 
They say, ‘Oysters perform many useful ecological functions. They remove significant amounts of nitrates and phosphates from water, trapping carbon dioxide in their shells. A single native oyster can filter up to 200 litres of water a day. A one hectare oyster bed may remove and deposit over 7.5 tonnes of suspended sediment.
 
Restoring the oyster to the Solent could help tackle many of the pressing pollution problems that beset the waterway.’
 
Many thanks to Robin Fitzgerald for the aerial picture of the sea lettuce in St Aubin’s Bay. You can see more of his aerial pictures here.
 
The other picture is by SOSJ team member Jacqui Carrel Photography for SOSJ, showing the view from the Battle of Flowers arena – not so good, eh?
 
The Environment Minister has his facts wrong! [Again.]

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