Seaweed cultivation and sustainable management can have multiple benefits for the environment. Seaweed cultivation does not require any fertilizers or the addition of any chemicals at all. Growing and harvesting seaweed can improve the quality of the waters it is growing in.
Seaweed takes nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates out of the water during its growth which can effectively clean the surrounding water, a process referred to as bioremediation as part of a package of ecosystem services. In coastal waters where agriculture and industrial inputs are causing seaweed blooms sustainable seaweed harvesting can play a role in directly addressing their impacts.
Seaweed farms can provide refuge and nursery sites for juvenile fish taking pressures off commercially important fish species such as bass at a time when their populations and associated fisheries are in decline.
The effective management of seaweed can play an important role in the environmental management of our coastal waters and waterways. Seaweed takes nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates out of the water during its growth which can effectively clean the surrounding water, a process referred to as bioremediation as part of a package of ecosystem services.
High nutrient levels are common in areas with industrial activity and agriculture in close proximity and can cause significant environmental issues and impact on the operation and growth of activity in these areas. An example of this is in Milford Haven Waterway where a nutrient trading scheme called Ecobank has been established with the support of Welsh Government and NRW.