Positioned on England’s south coast, Dorset and East Devon have the potential to contribute significantly to the growth in English marine aquaculture which is envisaged under the Seafood 2040 strategic framework for England.
Aquaculture within this region is developing rapidly with a diverse array of species and techniques either already in place or undergoing development both on and offshore. The potential offered by the region for the expansion of aquaculture has recently been recognised by the Department of International Trade (DIT) who have awarded the region status as a High Potential Opportunity (HPO) area for Sustainable Aquaculture.
Just to the west of the region lies the UK’s largest offshore rope mussel farm operated by Offshore Shellfish Ltd. In the east of Dorset in Poole Bay, Othniel Oysters Ltd., the UK’s largest Pacific oyster producers, carry out seabed cultivation of this species for both the domestic and international markets.
Open-water aquaculture activities carried out in the Weymouth and Portland area include trestle production of Pacific oysters as well as rope culture of both mussels and seaweed. Onshore, there is RAS production of lumpfish for use as cleaner fish in the Scottish salmon sector as well as plans for an in-land warm water prawn farm. If you are interested in finding out more about these existing businesses, then head to our Case Studies.
Funded by the Dorset and East Devon FLAG, a comprehensive spatial analysis has been undertaken for the Dorset and East Devon coastal waters of a wide range of marine aquaculture species and techniques. This mapping exercise, together with stakeholder consultation, has generated a unique tool to allow new investors and existing aquaculture businesses alike to identify where the optimum positions may lie for new operations and the expansion or diversification of existing farms.
Head to our Aquaculture Map to find out more about the region’s potential for aquaculture.