Posted on:
24th February, 2020

Dorset LEP exploits local aquaculture strengths to grab a share of £174bn market.

Dorset LEP has launched the #DorsetAquaBites campaign showcasing Dorset aquaculture – an offering with the potential to make Dorset a leader in this area and attract further investment to the region.

Dorset LEP exploits local aquaculture strengths to grab a share of £174bn market.

Aquaculture is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of marine algae, seaweed, fish and molluscs in all types of water environments. The industry currently generates more than £1.4 billion for the UK economy. By 2022, the global aquaculture market is projected to exceed £174 billion and by 2030 is forecast to be the prime source of seafood (1).

Jim Stewart, Dorset LEP Chair and Chief Executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners, says:

“This campaign is a chance to show off our fantastic local companies who are benefitting from a great location for business. Dorset is ready to step up its aquaculture sector as conditions are perfect.”

Throughout the #DorsetAquaBites campaign, attention will turn to the Dorset LEP social channels where there will be conversation on the main areas of aquaculture in Dorset, highlighting innovative local businesses.

Local businesses have told Dorset LEP why they love Dorset and how excited they are by future aquaculture opportunities.

Mark Firth, from Hooke Springs Trout Farm, which produces brown and rainbow trout in Beaminster, said:

“Our consistent water quality and quantity supply to this farm is second to none. If you offered me any other part of England to go to I would say no thank you.”

Sarah Pinder, from Dorset Seaweeds, a Portland based business which turns wild seaweed into biostimulent, said:

“I think aquaculture in Dorset is a really exciting opportunity. There’s a great potential here, it could create a lot of jobs. If we could potentially get our seaweed from seaweed farms in the future that would be fantastic.”

The #DorsetAquaBites campaign sets sail today in the lead up to the ‘OH20: Aquaculture Expo’ event. Yet, the campaign will continue thereafter to continue the conversation on Dorset’s aquaculture industry.

The ‘OH20: Aquaculture Expo - Commercial Solutions to Global Problems’ is the UK’s first expo in which aquaculture will be discussed in the context of the One Health concept. The expo will showcase sustainable commercial UK aquaculture businesses. Those attending include buyers, investors, government support agencies and universities. The event is designed to encourage businesses and investors to capitalise on Dorset’s position as a great place to run and grow an aquaculture business while addressing One Health problems such as food supply and environmental protection. The event, which is being fully-funded and hosted by Dorset LEP, takes place on Wednesday 4 March at Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester – book via Eventbrite or the Dorset LEP website.

Last year, Dorset LEP worked with local organisations to submit a commercial proposition to the Department for International Trade (DIT) so that aquaculture in Dorset could be identified within the first round of the High Potential Opportunity (HPO) Programme. This government programme aims to identify specific inward investment opportunities across the UK which can be promoted by DIT on a global stage.

Luke Rake, Principal of Kingston Maurward College, says:

“KMC is proud to be hosting this event, and to play its part in developing the High Potential Opportunity for Dorset. We are launching a new Aquaculture programme this autumn to support the industry which will allow both the College and the sector to further develop.”

Identification as a HPO is hugely significant for the local aquaculture sector and capitalises on Dorset’s natural capital and established aquaculture businesses. Dorset also benefits from local expertise from the likes of CEFAS, Dorset and East Devon FLAG and Dorset Coast Forum. All of these factors means that Dorset is poised to make the most of the economic, social and environmental benefits that aquaculture can deliver to the region, its residents and businesses.

With DIT preparing a re-marketing effort of their first round of HPOs, and in anticipation of the OH20 Aquaculture Expo, #DorsetAquaBites launches at the perfect time to put Dorset aquaculture on the map.



Notes to editors:

Dorset Aqua Bites

#DorsetAquaBites is a Dorset LEP social media campaign which aims to create conversation around the aquaculture sector in Dorset. The campaign will raise awareness of existing business, point towards developing technologies and educate people on benefits that a booming aquaculture industry can bring economically, socially and environmentally to Dorset, the UK and the planet.