Completes Phase 1 of the Aquaculture Enterprise Zone Programme Draft Concept Strategy for Accelerated Seaweed Production in England and Wales

London, UK – 30 June 2024 –, a leader in sustainability and climate resilience, is pleased to announce the successful completion of Phase 1 of the Aquaculture Enterprise Zone (AEZ) programme. This phase marks a significant milestone in the development of a draft concept strategy aimed at accelerating seaweed production across England and Wales.

The AEZ programme is designed to enhance the aquaculture sector by identifying and establishing optimal zones for sustainable seaweed cultivation. The completion of Phase 1 involved extensive research and collaboration with industry experts, public sector bodies, and academic institutions. This foundational phase focused on mapping potential sites, assessing environmental impacts, and developing technological frameworks to support large-scale seaweed farming.

Key Achievements of Phase 1:

  • Comprehensive Environmental and Site Assessments: Detailed analysis of potential sites to ensure environmental sustainability and economic viability, including biodiversity studies and water quality assessments.
  • Stakeholder and Regulatory Engagement: Extensive collaboration with local communities, industry leaders, and regulatory bodies to align strategic goals and environmental standards. Achieved in-principle agreements with regulators on pre-permitting processes, facilitating smoother future approvals.
  • Strategic Framework Development: Created a robust framework outlining the strategic pathway for large-scale seaweed cultivation, integrating technological advancements and sustainability practices.
  • Innovative Technology Integration: Development and deployment of cutting-edge technologies to enhance seaweed farming efficiency, improve yield, and ensure environmental compliance.

Strategic Goal: The AEZ programme aims to accelerate biomass production to displace petrochemical-sourced ingredients in multiple sectors, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and beverages, agriculture, and biofuels. By advancing seaweed cultivation, we aspire to create a new £1 billion per annum seaweed sector in the UK.


Chart source: Hidden Champion of the Sea


Global and European Market Opportunity: The global market for seaweed is expanding rapidly, driven by the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products. In Europe, the market potential is substantial, with growing interest in leveraging seaweed for various applications to meet sustainability goals. The AEZ programme positions the UK to become a leading player in this burgeoning sector, contributing to global sustainability efforts and economic growth.

Rob Passmore, CEO of, stated, “The completion of Phase 1 of the AEZ programme’s draft concept strategy is a testament to our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable innovation. We are excited to advance to the next phase, which will focus on pilot projects and refining our approach to scale seaweed production in a sustainable manner.”

Future Outlook: Phase 2 of the AEZ programme will involve pilot projects in selected zones, refining cultivation techniques, and further technological enhancements. The ultimate goal is to establish a robust and scalable model for seaweed production that can be replicated across the UK, contributing to food security, climate resilience, and economic growth.

It is important to note that while the draft concept strategy has been developed with extensive stakeholder input, The Crown Estate has not, at this stage, committed to moving the strategy forward. However, the in-principle agreements obtained from regulators signify a positive step towards realising the potential of this initiative. extends its gratitude to all partners and stakeholders who contributed to the successful completion of Phase 1. Their support and expertise have been invaluable in driving this initiative forward.

For more information about the AEZ programme and’s sustainability initiatives, please visit

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