Here’s why we think the ‘Big Blue Bobber’ won’t work:
a. There is 1,000,000m2 (3,000m x 330m) of affected beach.
b. There are only four daylight hours to use the machine. This has to be with the falling tide, in water – the rising tide is too fast and the lorries would get caught out.
c. This machine has to work in 25cm-80cm of water.
d. It has 5m width and can cover about 1000m per hour, including stopping to fill lorries. This means is can clear So 20,000m2 per day maximum on ideal tides.
e. That is 2% of the area extracted… On a good day (for the sea lettuce, that is) the Ulva lactuca grows at 8% per day… so the ‘cleaned beach’ will be 6% worse the day afterwards!
This machine is a panic response to the public’s demands that something is done by the States of Jersey to solve the annual and worsening sea lettuce blight. The logistics of getting it across are bad enough, and the costs of buying and running it are eye-wateringly high.