Access to Areas for Algae Cultivation in Norway
Arild Gjertsen
Ingrid Agathe Bay-Larsen
Hilde Bjørkhaug
Bjørn Vidar Vangelsten
Local communities
Academic article
Marine Policy
Year published:
Marine macro algae may play a significant role in the transformation to the future post fossil fuel and low carbon society. Previous research shows that high expectations for future and large-scale algae cultivation in European waters are often followed by identification of a wide range of challenges linked to the same development. This paper specifically investigates the locational challenges for algae cultivation in spatial planning at the local level along the Norwegian coast. Based on statistics from Norwegian Fisheries Directorate and a survey to Norwegian spatial managers, we explore in detail the challenges for communities, when prioritizing and allocating areas for industrial production of algae. The data suggest some areas for concern that a future upscaling effort would likely need to address. First, the possible encroachment on already established aquaculture should not be underestimated. Uncertainty related to the suitability of areas for algae production combined with a generally more area demanding activity contributes to this. Second, this uncertainty also points to a general knowledge gap on the part of local planners. Finally, the data also suggest other areas for concern that a future upscaling effort would likely need to address, namely that an upscaling of algae production needs to be sensitive to local contexts. The data suggest that a lack of expertise on aquaculture is linked to both lower industry satisfaction, higher levels of conflict, less experience with aquaculture in general, and smaller municipalities.