This project will trial deployment of a new scalable system able to support multiple species mariculture in vertical tiers.
This project tested the feasibility for the first offshore multispecies mariculture system in the UK, bringing together intertidal and nearshore aquaculture technologies into a combined scalable unit for application in an offshore environment.
The aim was to design a system with the ability to open up new areas for shellfish cultivation with a low cost and scalable design, which can be operated in co-location with other licensed activities (seaweed, offshore windfarm, etc) and provide a low impact, financially viable alternative to some damaging wild capture gear types (i.e. scallops).
The feasibility proposal was for a 3 month trial demonstrating the viability of the equipment within the SeaGrown seaweed farm site off the Yorkshire Coast. The trial allowed us to demonstrate equipment viability alongside quantification of husbandry costs, yields, mortality, predation and bio-fouling.
SeaGrown’s trial utilised readily available components wherever possible and took into account a scalable version of the gear which could be worked by smaller vessels.
The project demonstrated that this pioneering mariculture system is able to withstand the harsh offshore environment whilst keeping shellfish stock healthy. If successful in the next phase R&D application, SeaGrown intends to further develop the process to incorporate cultivation through the full life-cycle of each animal, to offer a sustainable, low impact, new source of this valuable produce to the market.