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Marine Licence

Before you install marine farm equipment, you will need a marine licence from Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT).

A marine licence for a finfish or shellfish farm is usually required for navigational purposes. After getting your application, MS-LOT will consider if the farm will impact on navigation and may require the installation of navigational markings.

For an algal (seaweed) farm, you may also need to provide a degree of environmental information.

If you plan on installing any other equipment for the farm, like a boat mooring, you may need a separate marine licence.

Application process

Applicants are required to provide co-ordinates for the site boundary, cage grids, associated moorings, any feed barge and associated equipment (i.e. storage rafts). Applicants must also provide a map clearly illustrating the location of the proposed site. Marine licences granted for a marine farm are valid for up to 6 years and licensees are required to apply to MS-LOT at least two months prior to the expiry of an existing marine licence. 

Applicants should be aware of the policies contained in the National Marine Plan – Chapter 7 – Aquaculture.

To apply for a marine licence to set up a fish farm, fill in the Finfish and Shellfish Farm Application Form, or for an algal (seaweed) farm fill in an Algal Farms Marine Licence Application form

If you need help filling it in, there are guidance notes available to you.

If you have any more questions about applying for a licence to set up a fish or shellfish farm, contact Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team by either calling 01224 295579 or emailing MS.MarineLicensing@gov.scot

Other Licences from Marine Scotland

Depending on how you plan to run your farm you may need further licences from Marine Scotland. These may include a wellboat discharge licence to discharge sea lice treatments from a wellboat or a Seal Licence to manage seal predation.

Further information on all the licences issued by Marine Scotland can be found on the Licencing pages.