commissioned by The Crown Estate to explore an Aquaculture Enterprise Zone model for England and Wales has been commissioned by The Crown Estate to explore an Aquaculture Enterprise Zone model for England and Wales London, UK – 22nd May 2023

The Crown Estate has commissioned 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 to help shape tools and frameworks that accelerate the rollout of aquaculture initiatives while offering significant local flexibility to meet place-based needs.

“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.” – Caroline Price Senior Development Manager Habitat Creation at The Crown Estate.  The Project will bring together experts from CIEL, the University of Plymouth Marine Institute, the Biorenewables Development Centre and CEFAS. will coordinate inputs from the project partners in collaboration with The Crown Estate.

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% during the forecast period. The European seaweed market alone is forecast up to £8.22bn by 2030, and the UK has an opportunity to gain a strong share of the market for seaweed and other sustainable marine crops.

“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,” said Rob Passmore, CEO of “We are thrilled to lead the delivery partnership and work with The Crown Estate to develop this innovative model.”

The potential of seaweed is vast. Seaweed is a valuable source of food and medicine, and it also has environmental benefits, improving water quality as it grows. Moreover, seaweed biorefinery opportunities provide a source of sustainable and eco-friendly chemicals, biodegradable packaging, bioplastics, fuels, and materials that reduce single-use plastics and carbon.

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% through 2030, while the UK market alone is projected to reach a value of £140 million by 2025.

If you would like to get involved or participate in the project, please get in touch.

For more information, please get in touch with Esme Bebb at or visit

About is a non-profit organisation that aims to redirect £50bn of investment into climate and nature recovery by 2030 and sequester two gigatonnes of CO2. The company is developing a portfolio of ventures focused on accelerating the delivery of missing market infrastructure to speed up how society addresses the climate and nature emergency.

About The Crown Estate

The Crown Estate is a significant national landowner with a diverse £16bn portfolio that includes urban centres and development opportunities; one of the largest rural holdings in the country; Regent Street and St James’s in London’s West End; and Windsor Great Park. We also manage the seabed and much of the coastline around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, playing a major role in the UK’s world leading offshore wind sector.


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