Argyll and Bute has aspirations to become the centre of seaweed farming excellence.
A report, commissioned by Argyll and Bute Council, has set out a template for setting up and running a seaweed farming business from conception right through to selling products to consumers.
Produced by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), in Oban, and funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the study highlights a major new opportunity for economic growth for Argyll and Bute.
The council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee heard recently that the cultivation of seaweed is a major global industry worth $4.5 billion, but one that is still emerging in Scotland.
Given Argyll and Bute’s abundant natural resources, and strategic position in the West of Scotland, there is the potential for the area to become the hub for seaweed farming in Scotland, if not Europe.
The report brings together information from academics, local communities and businesses pointing the way to creating sustainable forms of seaweed farming.
It covers how Scottish waters support seaweed species that can be used for human food, alginate production and animal feed amongst other products.
The process of setting up a seaweed farm is detailed and different designs of cultivation structures presented.
Case studies, including community-led developments, are featured.
Consenting and policy regimes for seaweed cultivation in Scotland are discussed, including a practical guide on leases and licences.
Fergus Murray, Head of Development and Economic Growth, said: “We are delighted with what is a very practical document that we believe will encourage development of our local aquaculture industries and stimulate the local economy through new investment.
“The next step is to distribute the report to develop the market and we will be showcasing it at the Scottish Seaweed Industry Association Conference in February next year.”
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The final version of the study be found below.