Summer is harvesting season for seaweed growers all over Europe. Lars Brunner (SAMS) shared with us some results of the recent harvest conducted at one of IDREEM’s pilot sites for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture in Scotland.
The seaweed was grown in Ardcastle, Loch Fyne on Scotland’s west coast. This site is run by Loch Fyne Oysters (LFO) and the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), our commercial partners in the project, and the site is stocked with a mixture of mussels, oysters, queen scallops and seaweeds. The seaweed cultivation on site has run since 2013, and this year’s harvest was the best yet. Two species were cultivated, both kelps –Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima. These were settled onto twine at the SAMS hatchery during the winter of 2014/2015, and brought to site in the first months of 2015. On site the ‘spools’ holding the twine were added to a thicker head-rope and strung parallel to the other lines in the water, at a depth of 2m.
The spring and summer of 2015 have been rather cool and wet in Scotland, without a lot of direct sunlight, however both species have performed well, and when the harvest was undertaken in June 2015, Alaria showed growth in excess of 2m length, with consistent 1.6m lengths for Saccharina, with peak weights per meter of line recorded of nearly 12kg for Alaria and 10kg for Saccharina. A Scottish commercial producer of seaweeds, Mara Seaweed, was present at the harvest, and utilised some of the harvested material for their production of dried, milled product for use as food.
Find out more about our IMTA site at Loch Fyne in this video.