Seaweed is a greatly underestimated resource that provides food and shelter to marine life. It is also used as a food source for people - often referred to as a ‘superfood’ that is rich in iodine and calcium and contains natural antioxidants, minerals and amino acids. Seaweed is also an important source for future supply of food and feed (additives), pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, biomaterials and bioenergy.
Seaweed farming is a mature multi-billion dollar industry and some Asian countries produce tens of millions of tonnes a year. But although seaweed grows prolifically in Scottish waters, there is no seaweed farming industry to speak off in the UK.
SAMS is conducting research that would support an industry to develop: identifying the most advantageous species to farm, developing cultivation and harvesting techniques, exploring how to identify and control seaweed pathogens and the policies needed to manage such an industry.
SAMS maintains experimental seaweed farms as well as a hatchery.
The SAMS seaweed hatchery is a facility dedicated to the out-planting and cultivation of seaweed strains for research projects and commercial supply.
Cultures include the seaweed strains Saccharina latissima, Alaria esculenta, Laminaria hyperborea and Laminaria digitata.
Hatchery time is approximately 5-8 weeks, depending on the species and methods used.
Our hatchery facilities include:
- >Laminar flow cabinet
- >LED lighting
- >Temperature control
- >Filtered and UV treated seawater supply
Through this facility, SAMS has the capacity to produce 6km of seeding twine with plans to expand this to over 25km in the next years.
At present the hatchery is undergoing a biosecurity upgrade to allow the cultivation of non-local varieties.
For more information please contact the facility manager, Dr Phil Kerrison (Email: Philip.Kerrison@sams.ac.uk)
For anyone interested in sourcing seeding twine for commercial purposes, please contact our commercial subsidiary SRSL.