DOC MARTIN actor Martin Clunes is among those to have lent their voice to opposition to a controversial seaweed farm off the North Cornwall Coast.  

Plans to develop a commercial seaweed farm on the North Cornish coast in the beautiful Port Quin Bay are being fought by the local community, with the Save Port Quin Bay campaign group saying time is running out to ‘save’ the coastline from the development. 

Biome Algae are proposing an installation of two 50-hectare industrial seaweed farms in Port Quin Bay, on the beautiful North Cornwall coast. 

The protected harbour porpoises, common dolphins, basking sharks, sunfish and whales are seen regularly throughout the year in what locals’ call “dolphin alley”. 

The Save Port Quin Bay group claim: “578 guillemots were counted on the ledges of the Mouls in February - seabirds have already suffered a heavy toll from avian flu.  Gannets dive for fish in the bay. Port Quin Bay is also home to the only breeding group of Puffins in Cornwall. There is numerous marine wildlife, and it is a wonderful recreational resource for tourists and the local community.” 

The group have listed five reasons why in their view, the development shouldn’t be approved. These are over fears relating to no community consultation, the visual impact of the development on an exposed coast, a perceived lack of research, financial concerns and harm to marine life.  

A spokesperson for the campaign group added: “A similar application by the same company for inshore waters on the South Coast at Gerrans Bay was recently withdrawn after a community campaign. 

“A project of the same scale has been approved at Tregardock, less than one nautical mile from us, with no community consultation, infuriating locals, who see it as an ongoing attempt to commercialise and privatise the sea. 

“I want to stress that the community here is largely in favour of seaweed farming and are aware of its many benefits, but it has to be in the right location.” 

Actor Martin Clunes said that in his view, the plans opposed by the group were ‘nothing short of criminal’, saying: “It’s a hideous plan, in a beautiful and special area, waved through without consultation or proper assessment of its environmental impact. It’s nothing short of criminal.” 

Barnaby Kay added: “We call on the applicants for a wider discussion about the lack of transparency in the planning process and the impact of aquaculture on our marine environment, on visitors and on the livelihoods of those who live year round in coastal communities. 

“Our tourism and local jobs depend on coastal gems like Port Quin and they should not be lightly sacrificed for cash, however greenwashed it may appear. 

“I am one voice in a rapidly growing community, fighting to stop the installation of two 50-hectare industrial seaweed farms in Port Quin Bay, on the North Cornwall coast, the stunning backdrop to the world famous Doc Martin series starring Martin Clunes.  

“At stake is 100.8 hectares of pristine inshore water, in an area of outstanding national beauty, including a fragile marine ecosystem and with breeding grounds for dozens of species of birds, seals and fish. Port Quin Bay is also home to the only breeding group of Puffins in Cornwall”.