21. Mr. G. Wilson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps have been taken by his Department to encourage the scientific examination of the possibilities of the cultivation of seaweed as a crop for animal or human consumption or as an agricultural fertiliser.
This problem has been studied by the Institute of Seaweed Research, with which my Department has kept in contact. I understand that examination has shown that the cultivation of seaweed for the purposes mentioned by my hon. Friend is unlikely to be feasible.
Would my right hon. Friend agree that, as at least seventy varieties are commonly eaten in the Far East, that the Japanese cultivate seaweed on a large scale, and that there are precedents for using seaweed for animal and human consumption in the British Isles, it would be a good thing to have a scientific investigation to ascertain whether, with an improvement in species, a variety could be obtained which would be suitable for cultivation here?
I should be very glad to follow the results of any experiments that my hon. Friend may carry out in the direction that he has indicated.