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Inspiring People: Supporting the emerging Scottish seaweed industry

Inspiring People: Supporting the emerging Scottish seaweed industry was recorded by the Environmental Funders Network as part of a series to highlight the vital role of philanthropy in solving environmental and climate issues.

In this episode, Grace Yu (philanthropist and Trustee of the Aurora Trust) speaks to:

  • Alison Baker: Co-founder and Managing Director, EcoCascade CIC
  • Jemima Cooper: Operations Manager, EcoCascade CIC
  • Dr Kyla Orr: Co-founder, KelpCrofters Ltd

The vast majority of seaweed in the world is currently grown in Asia however there’s a great opportunity in the northern hemisphere, and particularly on the west coast of Scotland which has pristine waters, with strong tidal flow and some protected spaces in which to grow seaweed.

As Grace says, ‘We need new ways of thinking about what we eat, how we grow things and how we make things, in ways that don’t further harm our planet. Seaweed is a wonder crop! Apart from being a nutritious food source that you can cultivate off-land, it has many other exciting applications, for example as a bioplastic or as a biostimulant.’

As a marine biologist, Kyla got increasingly depressed over the last decade at fish stocks collapsing, at fishermen working their way down the food web, ending up just having shellfish to catch in inshore waters in Scotland. Kyla got into seaweed farming as an alternative way of generating value and income from our seas that is sustainable and regenerative.

Tune in to hear why Grace and Kyla are passionate supporters of EcoCascade CIC, Scotland’s first seaweed processing plant in Kyle of Lochalsh which does the heavy lifting of primary processing for local seaweed farmers so they don’t have to.

To watch the video, please click here.

To listen to the podcast, please click here or search for ‘Environmental Funders Network’ in your Apple podcast or Spotify app.

For the other programmes in the Inspiring People series, please see our Resources ~ EFN Videos and Podcasts page.

Further reading:

Why are people getting so hyped about seaweed? (May 2023)

On Scottish seaweed (May 2023)

How Scotland is leading the way in seaweed farming (April 2022)

Notpla: UK plastic-alternative developer among £1m Earthshot Prize winners (December 2022)

Notpla lands £1m Innovate UK grant for ‘disruptive sustainable biomanufacturing by 2050’ (October 2023)