Seafish backs Swansea tidal lagoon aquaculture plans

Artist's Impression - Swansea Bay tidal lagoon (Image: TLP)

New report from industry body Seafish has confirmed that the proposed Swansea Bay tidal lagoon scheme could be used to farm a range of marine species.

The report found the sheltered lagoon has strong potential for aquaculture, including farming mussels, oysters, scallops, clams, cockles and seaweed; all of which have local and international market potential, according to Seafish.

The non-departmental public body of the UK in charge of seafood industry, Seafish, noted however that the trials would be needed to see how the shellfish and seaweed would grow inside the proposed development.

The report, titled ‘Aquaculture Opportunities for Enclosed Marine Water Bodies – Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Case Study’ uses Swansea Bay as a case study to examine wider opportunities for aquaculture in and around enclosed marine water bodies, such as ports, natural lagoons, estuaries, sea lochs and managed retreats.

Led by Martin Syvret from Aquafish Solutions, and Andrew Woolmer from Salacia-Marine, in collaboration with industry partners, the report states that this would be the first time that offshore marine renewable energy generation has been combined with aquaculture.

Lee Cocker, Aquaculture Manager at Seafish, said: “The prospect of sitting aquaculture within an area such as the world’s first tidal lagoon renewable power development is undoubtedly exciting, however, the findings of the project are also pertinent to other offshore renewables sites such as wind farms.

“The project helps provides an overview of aquaculture species and techniques that could be considered in other marine enclosed water bodies, and the hatchery aspect has the potential to support a more general expansion of seed availability for UK aquaculture.”

The report is accompanied by an Aquaculture Site Scoping Matrix, which can be used by industry to identify further potential locations for aquaculture operations.

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