Recommended Design practice for seaweed farms

This document is an initiative of North Sea Farmers (NSF) supported by Invest-NL. Together with Aqitec and following a permit application process in 2022, NSF identified the need of the seaweed industry to setup a design standard for seaweed farms. To support the industry with a standardised design approach that can be certified by independent parties. This in turn will enable successful permit applications, getting the assets insured and attracting investments into the industry. 


The first step towards standardization

This document is only a first step in developing this industry wide standard. Therefore, it is titled as “Recommended Design Practice”. NSF encourages all seaweed growing system designers to use this guideline and give feedback in terms of measurement data and suggestions for improvements. This will help developing this practice into a standard and improve the safety and cost-effectiveness in the industry.
You can download the document at the bottom of this web page

please provide us with feedback

We invite everybody to use this guideline and provide us with feedback on good points, potential improvements and suggestions for additional topics. To make this as easy as possible, you can provide your feedback via this online form, it will only take you less than a minute to submit.

Furthermore, we will evaluate all of your feedback during a follow-up Sector Session in November and determine whether we want/need to start a Joint Industry Project to develop a next iteration of the Recommended Design Practice. You can already register here via this online form (members only but contact us if you also want to attend and we'll look for a solution).


Important Information

Users of this document should be aware of the following points:

>> Generic guidance for nearshore and offshore seaweed growing systems designs

This document aims to provide guidance for the industry on which technical criteria to use when designing an offshore or nearshore seaweed growing system, thereby aiding the process of obtaining permits for these systems. For this reason the document is not aimed at a specific design, but provides generic criteria that apply to a number of designs.

>> Check applicability for specific design scope

This document strives to include relevant aspects for design of offshore and nearshore seaweed growing systems; whether it is applicable to a specific design should be assessed by the designer.

>> No consideration of local regulations and permit requirements

This document does not take into consideration local regulations and permit requirements.

>> Handling operations not included

This document provides the designer criteria to ensure an adequately safe design of the system itself. Handling operations (installation, seeding, harvesting, maintenance and decommissioning) are only in the scope of this document if they affect the design criteria of the system itself. E.g. a limit state for the system can be defined during installation, however requirements for the installation equipment and procedures itself are beyond the scope.

>> Recommended Design Practice should be expanded

Future versions of this document may expand on the topics covered and provide more detailed guidance on installation, alternative materials, part degradation, inspection intervals, monitoring, operation, maintenance, life extension, and decommissioning.



The Recommended Design Practice  has been established in a collaboration between Aqitec, Van Oord, and DNV, based on an initiative of North Sea Farmers with financial support from Invest-NL. This is a spin-off from the North Sea Farm#1 project, where the need for such a design practice was identified. This project uses the current RDP to design its farm system and to obtain (in due course) certification by DNV based on the RDP. DNV's statement of compliance is included at the back of the RDP.


Download the Recommended Design Practice

Download: Recommended Design Practice