Latest News

BDC partners with non-profit organisation to explore an Aquaculture Enterprise Zone model for The Crown Estate in England and Wales.

BDC partners with non-profit organisation to explore an Aquaculture Enterprise Zone model for The Crown Estate in England and Wales.

The UK’s national landowner, The Crown Estate, has commissioned – a non-profit organisation that aims to redirect £50 billion of investment into climate and nature recovery by 2030 – to explore and develop the concept of Aquaculture Enterprise Zones (AEZs) around England and Wales.

This ground-breaking project aims to support the accelerated development of sustainable aquaculture nationally by creating supportive environments for cultivating sustainable seaweed, bivalves and crustaceans.

During this initial phase, the project’s primary focus is to listen and understand the needs of the growing regenerative aquaculture market in England and Wales, help shape tools and frameworks that accelerate the rollout of aquaculture initiatives, while offering significant local flexibility to meet place-based needs.

Here at the Biorenewables Development Centre we are proud to be part of this project which will bring together experts from CIEL, the University of Plymouth Marine Institute and CEFAS. will coordinate inputs from the project partners in collaboration with The Crown Estate.

Caroline Price, senior development manager habitat creation at The Crown Estate said:

We are excited to commission to test the Aquaculture Enterprise Zone concept for England and Wales. This project has the potential to help unlock the economic and environmental benefit potential of sustainable aquaculture and helping to meet the UK’s net-zero targets.

Rob Passmore, CEO of added:

The development of Aquaculture Enterprise Zones is an exciting opportunity to support the sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry and provide a platform for economic development in coastal communities.

Debs Rathbone, Bioscience Innovation Team manager at the BDC said:

We are very excited to be part of this project. Our role in the project will be to define valorisation routes for seaweed biomass and identify uses of seaweed including the extraction challenges, costs, routes to market and supporting The Crown Estate's market assessment and forecast.

According to industry reports, the global seaweed market is projected to reach £19.8 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 12 percent during the forecast period. The European seaweed market alone is forecast up to £8.22 billion by 2030, and the UK has an opportunity to gain a strong share of the market for seaweed and other sustainable marine crops.

Bivalves, a crucial crop in AEZs, offer a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of protein with a low carbon footprint. In addition, they filter and clean the water in which they are grown, leading to significant environmental benefits. Market research forecasts the European bivalve market to grow at a CAGR of 5.5 percent through 2030, while the UK market alone is projected to reach a value of £140 million by 2025.