Crown Estate Scotland provides leases for areas of seabed which are used to:

  • farm finfish, such as salmon and trout
  • farm shellfish, such as mussels, scallops and oysters
  • farm seaweed

We also provide licences for seaweed harvesting on Crown foreshore and seabed. We only issue these licenses once NatureScot confirm they are satisfied that there is no evident risk of unacceptable environmental impacts.

We are not a regulator and will not issue a lease unless all other necessary statutory consents are in place.

However, you can apply for a lease option agreement. This type of agreement:

  • provides a short-term, secure and exclusive interest in an area of seabed while applications for the necessary statutory consents are prepared and submitted
  • confirms that we will agree a full lease once these consents have been secured

Further information is available here: Guidance notes for lease option agreements 2023.

Information on the submission of applications for Lease - and the criteria used by CES to assess them - is available here: Guidance notes for leases 2023.

How to apply

To apply for a lease option agreement with Crown Estate Scotland, please download and complete our lease option application form.

To apply for a new Crown Estate Scotland aquaculture lease please download and complete our lease application form.

All forms should be submitted to Emma Riach at

Your lease

During the life cycle of your lease there will be rent and reporting requirements for you, as a Crown Estate Scotland tenant to fulfil.

For more information on these, please see our further web pages and guidance documents.

To modify or renew a Crown Estate Scotland aquaculture lease, please download and complete one of the following forms:

Ending your agreement

Once you have a lease, you will also have the option to assign it to another party – for example, if you are selling your business – or to renounce it.

To assign your lease to another party, please use this assignation letter template.

(Note: assignation documents must be executed in duplicate)

To renounce your lease, please use one of the following two forms:

Please note that all of our template letters have been create by our legal advisors, however it is recommended that you have your own legal expert review the document. If you require assistance with any aspect of completing the template, please contact the aquaculture team at

At the end of your lease, all equipment associated with the marine farm, including moorings, must be completely removed. We may request a seabed survey to confirm that removals have taken place, the cost for which will be required from the tenant.

Leasing in the Sullom Voe Harbour Area

We are not currently offering seabed rights within the Sullom Voe Harbour Area (SVHA). 

We are currently developing the approach to be taken for future leasing arrangements in the SVHA and will provide more information on this in due course.