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Inspiring People: Supporting the emerging Scottish seaweed industry

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.