Promoting healthy soils and marine biodiversity through seaweed farming
In Loch Sunart on the West Coast of Scotland, Atlantic Mariculture’s 15-hectare seaweed farm is producing high-quality natural liquid fertilisers at the same time as restoring local biodiversity.
Kelp has historically been used by farmers to improve soil nutrient levels, crop yields and quality. It’s a safe and non-toxic way of boosting plant health; mitigating abiotic stress, restoring land and improving soil quality by directly increasing soil organic matter. Containing 40 kinds of minerals, alongside an abundance of vitamins, kelp’s nutritious value is vital for strengthening root systems. Alginic acid salts also combine with metal molecules in the soil to form heavier molecules that attach to soil particles, binding them together to improve the soil structure. This reduces leeching and results in better water and air movement through the soil, all of which ultimately improves yield without degrading the land.
Sustainable seaweed farming also regenerates marine habitats. In estuaries, it cleans seawater by filtering any agricultural run-off before it reaches the ocean. It also encourages marine biodiversity by providing a breeding ground for young fish, which in turn attract other species like seals. The team at Atlantic Mariculture has noticed a significant increase in the variety of species living in the waters of Loch Sunart since they started farming there.
With thanks to:
Amabel Hamilton, CEO, Atlantic Mariculture
Douglas Hamilton, Product Manager, Atlantic Mariculture
Joss Carnegie, Farms Manager, Atlantic Mariculture
For more information on Atlantic Mariculture, visit their website https://www.atlanticmariculture.co.uk