A mechanical seaweed harvesting trial licence was granted in 2014 to a company called Bio Atlantis for an area of roughly 1800 acres in the Bantry Bay area. Mechanical harvesting is done from a specially adapted ship that cuts the kelp forest with cutters and vacuums the seaweed aboard.
- The kelp forest sustains larval and juvenile stages of many marine animals
- It acts as a buffer against the force of Atlantic storms
- It absorbs nutrients from other activities