The aim of Project Madoc is to provide key decision makers, across the political, economic, and environmental arena, with a thorough evidence base to inform next steps for establishing and expanding an industry based on farmed seaweed.

The Seaweed Company
The Seaweed Company

Part One: Economic and Market Assessment

Several nations are already striving to lead the way in this rapidly burgeoning field. All making significant advances in farming technology, harvesting and bioprocessing through scientific research , policy, innovation, technology, and offshore colocation with government-backed and private sector-led initiatives.

The findings of Project Madoc concluded, that within this decade, Wales has the potential to build a £105 million industry, contributing £76.3 million to GVA and creating close to 1,000 jobs. This does not include the associated supply/value-chain or potential monetary value of ecosystem services derived from seaweed cultivation and resultant displacement of carbon intensive products.

Biorefinery illustration credit Genialg
Biorefinery illustration credit Genialg

Download Part One: Economic and Market Assessment

File The supplementary reports The supplements International Case Studies (Japan, Netherlands and Norway) and Innovation in Seaweed Farming offer additional insights into the viability of an industry based on seaweed for Wales. Find out more

Part Two: Social Licence to Operate

Given seaweed farming would form the basis of a new industry in Wales, it will be vitally important to gain public support and allay any concerns regarding continued and traditional access and usage of sites within the marine environment. 

By working collaboratively and learning from existing good practice, both from other industries and other seaweed industry developers, the sector can build consensus, demonstrate good practice, and capitalise on the growing awareness of seaweed as a benefit to communities in Wales.

Download Part Two: Social Licence to Operate

Part Three: Environmental Impact Assessment

The findings of the study conclude that seaweed farming in Wales for both sizes of farms assessed for the study i.e. small-scale 5ha and large-scale 50ha) are mostly low environmental impacts, mitigated by ensuring high standards of design, placement and management of sites.

This ensures that overall, seaweed farming, has the capacity to create a net-positive impact on the marine environment, including improvement in water quality, coastal protection, and enhancement of biodiversity with possible monetary returns in the future with nutrient, carbon credits and marine net gain policies.

Download Part Three: Environmental Impact Assessment

Part Four: Mapping Marine Space for Farming Kelp

If Wales is to develop a sustainable industry based on cultivated seaweed, the seaweed will need to be farmed at scale.

The findings of this assessment indicate that, in theory, almost 50% of the Wales marine area is suitable for cultivating kelp. This equates to a total area of just over 1.5 million hectares – 106,000ha scored optimally – with a further 1,435,300ha considered suitable.

However, as marine space becomes increasingly limited and the benefits on biodiversity receive more attention there could be a further accelerated shift towards colocation/multi-use platforms (e.g., with off-shore wind – clearly a growth sector for Wales) Wales thus has an opportunity to accelerate and increase production of seaweed biomass through further research and development in colocation opportunities.

Download Part Four: Mapping Marine Space for Farming Kelp

Project Madoc The power of seaweed

Project Madoc: A seaweed industry in the making?

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