Seaweed is an important marine natural resource. The harvesting of seaweed is an increasingly popular activity and NRW is being approached more frequently for advice on this topic.
NRW is the statutory environmental body in Wales for the environment and it is our duty to pursue the sustainable management of natural resources to maintain and enhance the resilience of ecosystems and the benefits they provide.
NRW has produced two guidance documents for those interested in finding out more about seaweed harvesting by hand. ‘I’d like to harvest seaweed by hand – what do I need to know?’ provides a summary of the key points relating to seaweed harvesting and ‘Detailed guidance for Seaweed harvesting – Hand Gathering’ provides further information and will be especially useful to those who provide advice on seaweed harvesting.
This guidance covers the hand gathering of seaweed, for both personal and commercial use. It includes the collection of attached seaweed and that cast up on beaches as drift and is relevant for both the foreshore and for sub-tidal areas out to 12nm from the shore. The guidance does not cover mechanised collection or the cultivation of seaweed.
Applying to harvest or grow seaweed
You will need a marine licence to commercially harvest or grow seaweed.