Aquaculture potential for tidal lagoon

Shellfish and seaweed could be farmed in the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

The proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon could be used to farm a range of marine species, according to industry body Seafish.

The sheltered lagoon has strong potential for farming mussels, oysters, scallops, clams, cockles and seaweed, claimed Seafish.

According to a new report, Aquaculture Opportunities for Enclosed Marine Water Bodies – Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Case Study, it would be the first time offshore marine renewable energy generation has been combined with aquaculture.

The report forms part of Seafish’s Closing the Circle: Aquaculture Development in Enclosed Waters project, supported by the organisation’s Strategic Investment Programme (SIP).

Wider opportunities for aquaculture

It 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.

This SIP project has also created a generic shellfish hatchery design aimed at tackling the shortage of shellfish seed that can be raised to adulthood by commercial shellfish farmers. The deficit has held back the expansion of aquaculture in the UK, Seafish claimed.

It hoped that industry would be able to use the hatchery design to help increase the supply of seed and boost production.

Seafish aquaculture manager Lee Cocker hoped that the industry would make good use of the findings.

‘Undoubtedly exciting’

“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,” said Cocker.

“The project helps provide 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.”

Seafish is a non-departmental public body that works with the UK seafood industry to improve efficiency and raise standards across the sector.

Meanwhile, a £1M Scottish aquaculture programme has been launched to boost supply chain innovation, increase industry turnover by about £8M, and create up to 50 jobs.


What is aquaculture?

The cultivation of aquatic animals and plants, especially fish, shellfish and seaweed, in natural or controlled marine or freshwater environments; underwater agriculture.


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