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Wild Seaweed Harvesting: Strategic Environmental Assessment - Environmental Report

Wild Seaweed Harvesting: Strategic Environmental Assessment - Environmental Report

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

ISBN: 9781786526229

A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and consultation on wild seaweed harvesting. This document investigates the sustainability and potential environmental and cumulative impacts of wild seaweed and seagrass harvesting, maerl extraction and removal of beach-cast seaweed. There is an associated consultation document.

Executive Summary

Seaweed is a significant resource for Scotland, very important environmentally and historically but harvested at a small scale at present. There is considerable potential for growth and development of its exploitation and use.

The UK currently has no large-scale harvesting of seaweed, but in Scotland there are businesses harvesting seaweed at a small scale. The seaweed harvesting sector has recently indicated aspirations to develop large-scale wild seaweed harvesting around the coasts of Scotland.

Marine Scotland has carried out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of wild seaweed harvesting to investigate the sustainability and potential environmental and cumulative impacts of large scale mechanical extraction of wild seaweed, in particular kelp forests.

The key to the success of seaweed harvesting at this scale (and therefore of the industry) is sustainability of the resource.

Your views on this SEA are sought to help develop policy.

The consultation has been extended and will close on Wednesday 15 February 2017.