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Clarification of Crown Estate Scotland’s role in large-scale kelp harvesting proposals

Contrary to some media reports, Crown Estate Scotland has not launched its own proposals for large-scale kelp harvesting. 

Crown Estate Scotland manages leasing of seabed. Large-scale harvesting of seaweed requires, first and foremost, a licence from Marine Scotland. Only then can operators secure any agreement from Crown Estate Scotland to access the seabed.

A spokesperson said, “Crown Estate Scotland manages seabed in a way that protects the environment while making the most of our seas to create jobs and other benefits in accordance with Scotland’s National Marine Plan.  Any organisation proposing large-scale seaweed harvesting must go through the right process, including consulting with local communities and securing a license from Marine Scotland. All our seabed agreements, such as those for fish farming and marine renewables, require tenants to operate according to Marine Scotland’s and other regulators' requirements on environmental standards and monitoring. Seaweed harvesting will be no exception.” ENDS