A SOUTH West business has submitted plans, which if approved, would see more than 100 hectares of coastal waters used to farm seaweed off the coast of Port Quin.  

Biome Algae is a marine company which farms and processes local seaweeds across Devon and Cornwall.  

Harvesting seaweed, the company then use the crop to produce a variety of products, including biofeed and fertilisers, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, food and health supplements, and plastic alternatives.  

With a farm already based in Torbay, the company was faced with heavy opposition when it submitted an application for a similar site at Gerrans Bay off the coast of the Roseland Peninsula, last year.  

The proposal saw two sites spanning 55 hectares each, however, following a community campaign, the application was withdrawn.  

Now the company, alongside Camel Fish Limited, have filed two new applications for a similar site off the coast of Port Quin, between Polzeath and Port Isaac.  

Biome Algae’s application explains: “The site is 50.4 Ha. It will farm the seaweed using a tried and tested farm model, including stable infrastructure which will occupy a total of 5 Ha of the 50.4 Ha site. The remaining space is required for farm access and operation, as well as navigational safety.”    It goes on to explain that the new site is necessary “For the business to succeed and move forward”. 

“Biome currently operates a few trial lines with another farmer. For the business to succeed and move forward, Biome requires a licensed site where they are the sole operator and of a size that will lead to economic viability for the business.    “It is expected that the farm will have a positive economic effect within the region, providing local employment, training and support local businesses as we source our materials and equipment from them.”  

Camel Fish Limited’s application echos this, with a second site of 50.4 Hectares.  

Should these applications gain approval, works will get underway to establish the seaweed farms. Part of this includes deploying 144 longlines which stretch 160 metres at each site.  

Following the submission of these applications, several residents have expressed their concern, even prompting the creation of a Facebook group ‘Save Port Quin (Lundy Bay)’.  

One resident wrote: “I have known the area for 62 years and lived in this beautiful area for over 45 years and I feel it would a great shame to destroy something so beautiful it is the serenity and unspoilt nature of this spot.”