Campaigners fight plans for seaweed farm off north Cornwall coast made famous by Doc Martin

Port Quin
Port Quin Bay Credit: ITV News

Campaigners have said they will fight plans for a floating seaweed farm on the North Cornwall coast.

Biome Algae Ltd and Camel Fish want to harvest seaweed in Port Quin Bay, near Port Isaac as a sustainable alternative to animal feed and fertiliser.

The proposed farm would cover around 250 acres of the bay.

But campaigners from Save Port Quin have said the project, which is on a stretch of coastline made famous by its use in the ITV series Doc Martin, is in the wrong place.

Barnaby Kay, one of the group's founders, told ITV News he believes the project has been "handled wrongly."

''I want to make it really clear that everyone in our group are pro seaweed farming and pro that progression in agriculture and aquaculture," he said.

"It's just that this process hasn't taken into account the community. We weren't asked, we didn't know until two weeks ago that this was even happening."

Barnaby Kay, Save Port Quin Credit: ITV News

The Save Port Quin Facebook group has attracted 1800 members since it was set-up, and has created a crowdfunding appeal. Some members have raised concerns about the potential impact on local wildlife.

Bodmin-based Wildlife researcher Jasmina Goodair said: ''I'm not sure that there's been enough research or trials done on the impact it actually has on birds. We've got in this bay peregrines, large colonies of guillemots and razorbills. And the only remaining breeding colony of puffins.''

Doc Martin actor Martin Clunes has lent his support to the campaign - describing the farm as ''a hideous plan in a beautiful and special area.''

The floating farm involves lines of buoys in the sea which will be placed 500m away from the shoreline, outwards to 1.4km.

The joint applications submitted to the Marine Management Organisation said the seaweed would be grown to provide food, low-carbon animal feed and fertiliser alternatives, as well as biomaterials to replace single-use plastic and take away cartons.

The hamlet of Port Quin Credit: ITV News

In a joint statement to address some of the key issues raised by the community, Biome Algae and Camel Fish said: "The farm infrastructure occupies 10% of the total proposed farm space at full capacity. The rest of the site remains open sea which is navigated by marine mammals and marine life."

"We do not erect structures that block marine life access. In fact, it will provide shelter and food. We are part of several research programs documenting these positive effects," they added.

An information meeting for local residents is being held at Trevathan Farm Shop and Restaurant in St Endellion at 6.30pm on Friday 1st March. The public consultation runs until 14th March.