Aquaculture Regulatory Toolbox for Wales

Welsh Aquaculture

Aquaculture is one of the key food production sectors in Wales and helps to underpin sustainable economic growth in rural and coastal communities. Wale’s aquaculture industry currently consists of longline blue mussel culture and Pacific oyster trestle culture in inshore locations, freshwater finfish culture of trout, and restorative native oyster and freshwater crayfish cultivation. With increasing drivers of food and nutritional security, a growing population and increasing demand for healthy products, the Welsh industry must increase production to meet these needs. Within the Wales Marine and Fisheries Strategic Action plan 2013 the Welsh Government aims to double aquaculture production by 2020 and encourage co-location of aquaculture with other marine industries. The plan recognises the contribution shellfish cultivators make towards the management of inshore waters and coastal heritage, and highlights that the Welsh Government is committed to the sustainable development and growth of the aquaculture industry.

New technology driving aquaculture growth

New improving technologies and industry initiatives are emerging that reduce environmental impacts and enable the exploitation of more exposed environments that may be suitable for larger scale aquaculture production. Emerging and innovative sectors in Wales include land based recirculatory culture (RAS) for wrasse, new hatchery technology and species (research ongoing), longline scallop culture, aquaponics, macro algae cultivation (trials in progress), co-location with offshore wind and tidal lagoons (research and trails occurred) and submersible cage technology. Co-location and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture are key areas of innovation that would enable increased production whilst minimising environmental impacts.

Summary regulatory requirements and guidance for new aquaculture businesses in Wales

This page brings together guidance on regulatory requirements into a single portal covering both existing sectors and those that are emerging.  It provides summary information with links and contacts on the type of licences, authorisations, and permissions required to set up and run differing types of aquaculture business. Also provided is a separate list of regulators with contact details, and a breakdown of existing and emerging aquaculture sectors. Alongside the detailed information provided in the following tables, aquaculture developers should also consider the following Plans and Acts when considering new development in Wales:

  • The Welsh National Marine Plan (draft 2017)
  • The Wellbeing of Future Generations Wales Act 2015
  • The Environment (Wales) Act 2016
  • Area Statements (Terrestrial and Marine equivalents)
  • River Basement Management Plans

Initial Documents

Aquaculture Sectors