Seaweed farming collaboration a first for Scottish Sea Farms

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Scottish Sea Farms’ new salmon and seaweed initiative aims to boost marine environment in Loch Spelve

seaweed farming
Scottish Sea Farms is partnering with a seaweed farming venture on Loch Spelve in the Sound of Mull to grow salmon and kelp together. Photo credit: Kindel Media.

Scottish Sea Farms is partnering with a seaweed farming venture on Loch Spelve in the Sound of Mull to grow both salmon and kelp together. This year-long project aims to improve the marine environment and reduce the impact of its farming activities. The mutual benefits of growing salmon and kelp in the same waters have been shown in multi-trophic aquaculture projects elsewhere.

“Seaweed is so beneficial in so many ways for the marine environment,” said Anne Anderson, head of sustainability and development at Scottish Sea Farms. “As a plant, it absorbs carbon dioxide, while releasing oxygen. It’s a bit like planting trees to offset your carbon footprint. And some of the organic nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorous, from salmon farming are absorbed to help nourish the kelp. It will be interesting to see if we get more seaweed growth once we put the salmon in.”

The farm, which had been left unused, was chosen for a new project between Scottish Sea Farms and businessman Guy Grieve. Grieve, who used to run the Ethical Shellfish Company on Mull, now plans to grow large amounts of sugar kelp for garden compost.

The seaweed lines, installed last October, produced encouraging growth over the winter, and this month four 90m pens will be stocked with salmon. Scottish Sea Farms sought permission from Crown Estate Scotland for the trial and talks are now underway to amend the farming lease to cultivate seaweed longer term.

Read more about the collaboration here.


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