Seaweed Review Steering Group


During the parliamentary scrutiny of the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019, Roseanna Cunningham, then Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, announced a review to gather evidence to help ensure existing seaweed harvesting activity and future proposals are sustainable and Scotland’s marine environment is protected.

We set up a Seaweed Review Steering Group to advise on all aspects of the review. Membership includes organisations from various sectors representing conservation, science, enterprise, biotechnology, fisheries and the seaweed industry association.

Since 2019, we have published a number of key research outputs that address the objectives of the review. The final piece of research commissioned for the review, Understanding the potential scale for seaweed-based industries in Scotland, was published on 22 February 2022. This latest report explores the key areas of growth potential for the seaweed sector and the wider economic and social impacts of possible growth scenarios.

Altogether, the findings of the review point to a need for a more comprehensive policy and regulatory framework for the emerging seaweed sector, as well as greater clarity on the pace and direction of travel from the industry itself.

The Marine Scotland Directorate is undertaking a number of new activities that build on the outcomes of the Seaweed Review. Further information can be found in the full statement.

We recognise the crucial role that Seaweed Review Steering Group members have played in guiding this review and sharing new and important evidence regarding Scotland’s seaweed resources and seaweed sector. Marine Scotland Directorate will continue to engage with these stakeholders through various channels, but will not hold further Steering Group meetings as the original aims and objectives of the review have now been met.


Membership is appointed by Marine Scotland and subject to regular review to ensure an appropriate blend of expertise and representation is maintained, initially: 

  • Marine Scotland (Science, Licensing, Policy)
  • Scottish Government Manufacturing and Industries Division
  • Scottish Environment Link
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) 
  • Crown Estate Scotland Interim Management (CES, IM)
  • Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC)
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)
  • Local Authority planners
  • Inshore Fisheries Group
  • Communities inshore fisheries alliance (CIFA)
  • Scottish Fishermen's Federation
  • Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation
  • Scottish Seaweed Industry Association (representing small and larger scale harvesters and cultivation interests) 

Group to consider expanding the membership to include Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and how best to ensure community groups and seaweed harvesters are represented. 


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