To inform the development of the National Marine Plan, the Welsh Government commissioned us to understand where marine aquaculture sites might be located in Welsh waters in the future.
We worked with marine aquaculture stakeholders to determine which species and cultivation methods they considered commercially viable, both now and in the future. From this information, we developed a series of criteria relating to physical, biological, technical and economic constraints which we used to identify potential future locations for different types of marine aquaculture.
We then created maps indicating the location of current marine aquaculture activity and highlighting areas where there are minimal constraints to developing viable aquaculture operations in the future. We sought to validate these maps with marine aquaculture stakeholders.
Outputs of the study are being used by the Welsh Government to inform the Welsh Marine Plan and to set priorities for the next round of European Marine and Fisheries Funding.