D&S IFCA's Mariculture Strategy

D&S IFCA is currently developing a Mariculture Strategy that will help create future opportunities for mariculture within D&S IFCA’s District.  This vision is set out in the 2019 Annual Plan which states: The Strategy will highlight core areas where the IFCA may have the opportunity to work with the mariculture sector to evaluate and advance mariculture opportunities and provide information to those interested in entering this sector.  D&S IFCA is looking to develop this Strategy in consultation with all interested parties and with appropriate stakeholders and organisations including Defra, Cefas, MMO, Natural England, Academia, Environmental Health, Seafish Authority, and the fishing industry.

To do this, D&S IFCA officers have been engaging, face to face, with a variety of mariculture stakeholders within the District on a regular basis to discuss their views on how their businesses are progressing, both in terms of aspects of the businesses that are doing well and aspects that could be improved. This information will be invaluable when examining areas and mechanisms within the District that could be utilised for future aquaculture development, whether by reducing areas of conflict through informed spatial management, or through facilitating new mariculture businesses within the D&S IFCA’s District.  This may include promoting existing tools like Seafish’s Aquaculture Regularity Toolbox  for new mariculturists, and Harmful algal bloom early warning web alert systems being developed through the EU S-3 EUROHAB project.  An example of the diversity of new developments already in the planning and development stages within the D&S IFCA’s District include but are not limited to seaweed farms, mussel collection sites, new oyster farms and scallop ranging.   

As well as the Strategy’s aim to support new industries, D&S IFCA has also been actively supporting the development of mariculture within the District for almost 20 years.  In 2001 D&S IFCA established the Waddeton Regulating Order, in the upper reaches of the Dart Estuary near Galmpton.  The Waddeton Order is a hybrid regulating order created to help promote the sustainable growth of mariculture within the District.  Through the Waddeton Order, D&S IFCA manages 117 hectares of the estuary for the sole purposes of mariculture, leasing small highly affordable plots out to prospective mariculturists.  Mariculture production, from within the Order, is currently focussed on pacific oysters, however there are licenses available to farm several other species on the plots, including mussels.  Promoting established, accessible, and affordable opportunities like this will form an important part of the Strategy, hopefully with the intention of creating a path to mariculture for those parties who seek to enter the industry or diversify from other fishing sectors but have, to date, been unsure how to do so.

Once the D&S IFCA’s Mariculture Strategy is finalised it will be published under this section of the website.

Page reviewed: 3rd July 2020