Seaweed cultivation policy statement 2017

Policy statement covering commercial seaweed cultivation development size and Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) development.



The Scottish Government ( SG) is fully supportive of the sustainable growth of aquaculture, with due regard to the wider marine environment. The sector underpins the sustainable economic growth that supports both employment and the economic wellbeing of many fragile rural communities across Scotland. This includes the support and development of traditional aquaculture sectors, as well as possible diversification into other species, such as seaweed cultivation.

This policy statement covers:

  • Commercial seaweed cultivation development size
  • Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture ( IMTA) development

Policy summary and purpose

This policy statement aims to help facilitate the growth of the sector by setting out SG policy on the suitability of seaweed cultivation in different scenarios. This will provide those wanting to operate in this sector with a better understanding of the type of development that may be given approval. The overall benefit will be to provide greater certainty for the industry, while ensuring that activities which may have an environmental impact are understood and mitigated.

Scotland's National Marine Plan ( NMP)

Scotland's NMP was adopted on 25 March 2015 and published and laid before Scottish Parliament on 27 March 2015. All authorisation and enforcement decisions by a public authority must be taken in accordance with the Plan, as must any other decisions which are capable of affecting the marine area. The application of the General Policies within Chapter 4 of the Plan will be particularly relevant in relation to seaweed issues.

Policy development

The Seaweed Cultivation Policy Statement ( SCPS) has been informed through consultation in 2013 with various public bodies with an interest in seaweed cultivation and harvesting, including the Food Standards Agency in Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH), Historic Scotland ( HS), and The Crown Estate. A consultation report and Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA) Environmental Report were also completed.


Email: Fiona Watt

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