There's money to be made from seaweed cultivation on the North Aberdeenshire coastline

A new study looking at seaweed cultivation on the North Aberdeenshire coast has recommended it as a financially-viable business opportunity.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 8:57 am
The study has revealed there are potential business opportunities in the cultivation of seaweed.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Regeneration Team commissioned consultants Northern Light Consulting to investigate the potential for seaweed cultivation across a number of sites from Portsoy to Fraserburgh and determine the viable prospect of establishing a new industry along the coastline.

Seaweed cultivation is a rapidly-growing global market, with its derived products being used for food consumption and an increasing range of commercial uses including cosmetics, packaging and animal feed supplements.

The study provides a detailed investigation of the challenges and opportunities which exist and determines that the establishment of a seaweed farm is a technically and commercially-viable business prospect.

Talks will be held with stakeholders about seaweed cultivation.

Although processing capacity and the routes to market were considered as among the primary challenges, a number of potential processing options and buyers were identified. Aberdeenshire is also considered to be in a relatively strong position due to its existing agricultural and seafood supply chains.

The council team behind the study is now arranging a meeting of stakeholders – inshore fishermen, potential operators, agricultural and seafood processing businesses and local communities.

Councillor Peter Argyle, chair of the Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “It’s really heartening to hear that seaweed cultivation is not only technically feasible and commercially viable, but also a socially beneficial opportunity for the region. I’m delighted our officers will be engaging with potential partners and seeking grant funding with a view to carrying out a small-scale trial.”

Christine Webster, Regeneration and Towns Centres Manager, added: “There continues to be real excitement about the potential of seaweed cultivation in the North-east as it’s an opportunity which could really add value to our food and drink sector, whilst also contributing to reducing carbon emissions in so many ways.”

Anyone interested in this opportunity should email Jamie Wilkinson at [email protected] or call 01467 537377.