Wales' first commercial ocean farm will be set up this year, on a three-hectare site off Ramsey Sound.

 Câr-Y-Môr (For the Love of the Sea) was granted a licence for the farm, the approximate size of three rugby pitches, this week.

The community benefit society has operated two trial 3D ocean farms in Ramsey Sound, the first of their kind in Wales, for more than a year.

The new farm, which has a five-year licence running from April 1 this year, could produce up to 15 tonnes of seaweed and shellfish annualy.

The trial sites at Carn ar Wig consist of 300m of seaweed lines growing four species of seaweed, 90,000 juvenile native oysters as well as scallops and mussels.

3D ocean farming is seen as one of the answers to food shortages and climate change as well as generating local jobs, creating biodiversity and improving the nation's diet.

The farms sit below the surface of the sea and produce high yields with a small footprint. No fertilizer, fresh water, feed or land is required.

They help to restore ocean ecosystems and their crops also help capture and store carbon dioxide, slowing down climate change.

The seaweed crop can be used as food, fertilizer, animal feed, in bio plastics and more.

There are plans for a processing facility in St Davids which will sell local seafood for retail and wholesale. There will also be a small production facility in the city for medicinal, cosmetic and related products.

“We are delighted to receive the license which gives a community benefit society the unique opportunity to start the first commercial scale seaweed and shellfish farm in Wales,” said Câr-Y-Môr’s Owen Haines.

“It has been privilege to see about 40 volunteer members and supporters all work together over the last two years to achieve this licence and the crown licence.

“This could have not been achieved without each of these individual’s commitment, skills and expertise. It’s been a humbling experience to be part of.”

“This is another significant step to achieving this community business’ aims of improving the marine environment and people’s wellbeing while producing all year round coastal employment and healthy delicious seafood, not to mention the development of fertiliser, spa products, seaweed packaging and livestock feed to name but a few.”

Anyone who supports the society's aims is welcome to apply to join/ volunteer or invest.

“The society’s biggest asset is its growing diverse community membership, old and young from near and far,” said Owen.

“The engagement of the members is the key to fulfilling the many exciting plans delivering benefits to all concerned. From my simple fish farming life it’s been an extraordinary journey - getting to know and working with so many kind and committed people from all walks of life leaves me speechless.”