First commercial seaweed farm in England proposed between Shoreham and Elmer

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A consultation into a scheme to establish England’s first commercial seaweed farm off the coast between Shoreham and Elmer closes today.

Five locations have been proposed for the Nearshore Seaweed Cultivation of Native Species project, with each site located around 5km from the shore, according to consultation documents submitted to the Marine Management Organisation.

The project would pioneer seaweed cultivation on special 2D Algaetex textile mats.

These would be suspended two to three metres below the ocean surface and moored to the seabed using a chain.

A small fishing vessel would be used to mechanically harvest the seaweed, which would be dried or frozen once harvested and then stored.

The applicant, Sustainable Seaweed Limited, would look to grow a wide variety of brown and red seaweed, according to the consultation documents.

The red seaweed will be grown April to September while the brown seaweed will be grown September to April.

The applicant said the seaweed cultivation would have ‘significantly positive effects’ on the water quality, as it has been shown to increase oxygen levels in water and reduce carbon dioxide levels.

The scheme requires a marine licence from the Marine Management Organisation before operations can begin.

To find out more, search for application reference MLA/2018/00028 at marinelicensing.marinemanagement.org.uk

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