Penmon Seaweed Hatchery
PEBL facilities in March 2021.
In the winter of 2020 we established Wales' first purpose-built seaweed hatchery facility at Dinmor Quarry, Penmon Point, Anglesey. This facility is entirely powered by an off-grid solar-battery installation. Natural seawater is pumped directly from the foreshore into a seawater purification system. This allows us to remove unwanted contaminants whilst retaining the natural micronutrients and essential minerals for the early life stages of seaweed growth.
The seawater is then distributed into a series of WRAS-approved cultivation tanks within the facility where the temperature, light, nutrient levels and aeration of the seawater are precisely controlled. Our seaweed hatchery produces high-quality seaweed seedlings which we inoculate onto aquaculture-grade cultivation twine. With a year-round capacity for inoculating 10,000m of twine every 6 weeks, our hatchery can produce seedlings for an expected harvest of >400 tonnes, assuming an average yield of 7kg/m after 3-5months of growth at sea. The design and installation of this facility was supported through the Innovate UK Sustainable Innovation Fund.
Cultivation tanks in the seaweed hatchery
Dulse cultivation experiment in progress
For successful cultivation each species requires the optimal conditions. Therefore we designed the hatchery such that we can test many different parameters in parallel. Some of the key parameters that we can vary are light intensity, the amount of nutrients, the temperature and the amount of fresh seawater circulating in each tank.
Kelp seeding spools in cultivation tanks in week 1
Kelp spools after 4 weeks of cultivation
In spring 2021 we also started cultivating Sugar Kelp. This species is typically grown on thin twine which is wrapped around a pipe to make a spool. Kelp is a very fast growing species and we have been able to identify baby Sugar Kelp blades after just 4 weeks of cultivation.