Aquaculture takes place in increasingly well used sea areas and has a complex relationship with its operating environment. Careful site selection for fish farms is required to ensure that the water quality in the cages is adequate throughout the production cycle. Fish and shellfish farming can have a range of effects on the surrounding environment, so licensing for these operations is largely determined by the scope, control and management of environmental impacts and risks. Aquatera’s broad understanding of the ecology, science, economics, culture and heritage associated with marine and coastal activities means that we are very well placed to provide insightful and focussed advice on the planning and management of these activities.


Aquatera brings its expertise to bear by examining the complex interactions between aquaculture and the marine environment, and the relationships these operations have with other industrial activities.  As with many other aspects of our work, the fact that many of our staff live in a community involved in aquaculture gives us both a thorough understanding of the issues and direct experience.


Our portfolio of services includes site identification and option evaluation, planning and licensing, surveys and EIA, and in addition we can undertake the following types of work for aquaculture developments:

  • Evaluation of renewable energy supplies
  • Feasibility of offshore exposed location activity
  • Strategic planning and capacity assessment 
  • Landscape and seascape capacity assessments


  • Planning support including EIA and HRA for Scottish Sea Farms’ salmon farm developments in Scotland (Orkney, Shetland, and the Western Isles), Scottish Sea Farms
  • Development of a site selection and optioneering tool for aquaculture
  • Study into the potential for renewable power generation at aquaculture sites for the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF) - Download the report (PDF)