Sourced responsibly from regulated sustainable resources

Frequently Asked Questions

New to Marine Arts, or just interested in who we are?

Who are Marine Arts?

You may have heard of Marine Arts previously, a company originally traded under the same name in the South West of England. After acquiring Marine Arts Ltd in November 2013 Marine Arts is now trading name of Specialist Aggregates Ltd.

Where are you based?

After acquiring Marine Arts Ltd in November 2013, see above, all stock and effects were transferred to Specialist Aggregates' warehouse based in Rugeley, Staffordshire (WS15 3HF).

What do Specialist Aggregates do?

Specialist Aggregates manufacture and supply a wide range of Technical and Decorative aggregates, many of which you will have seen without realising. Examples include sands and pebbles for TV shows, film sets and shop window displays. Also gravels for award winning show gardens, and feature boulders for adventure play.

How long have Specialist Aggregates been selling shells?

Specialist Aggregates have been supplying shells since 2000. During this time they have been instrumental in establishing new and novel uses for shells arising from Atlantic based fishing operations. Today they are responsible for recycling shells that would otherwise go to landfill for use in industrial processes and concrete products.

Where are the shells sourced?

Over 95% of shells sourced by Specialist Aggregates arise from the UK's regulated seafood industry predominantly harvested from the Atlantic and the Irish Sea. Additional decorative shells are sourced from the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

How do you ensure that imported shells are responsibly sourced?

Specialist aggregates work with a very small number of long-term suppliers whose livelihood depends on respecting the environment and sourcing shells in a sustainable way. Just as in the UK, the majority of shells arise either from farmed seafood sources or from harvesting natural resources for their food value. The curious shapes and colourful patterns make tropical shells amongst the most fascinating of natural creations, however, to many coastal communities they are simply their local equivalent to our cockles and mussels. Through visiting suppliers and both understanding and working within local, national and International regulations, Specialist Aggregates strive to ensure that shells and shell derived products are sourced with due regard to the environment.

How are your shells identified?

Marine Arts identify their shells in three ways`:
  • Each shell or group of shells is given a common name. Here we have added some of our own marketing "spin" - for instance have you ever tried to sell Asses Ears for wedding decoration? Pearl Slippers are surely more appealing?
  • Each product has its own unique Marine Arts product code, however, if you have an old Marine Arts printed catalogue just put their former codes into our SEARCH box and the product will be identified.
  • We have also identified shells by their Latin name (Genus and species). We need to do this to uniquely identify shells both for export licence and import clearance. This information can also help you and you customers search the internet for additional information.
  • Can we visit your warehouse?

    Yes no problem, but please call first to make an appointment (01889 586486). Products are available on a "cash & carry" basis and from March 2014 our new showroom will be fully open. Whilst visiting you can also see our vast range of coloured decorative sands, glass nuggets and feature rocks.

    How do we contact Marine Arts?

    We would love to hear from you - call 01 889 586486 or e-mail For full details see "Contact Us" section.

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    Marine Arts - Wholesale Shells
    Unit 5, Rydal Estate
    Colton Road, WS15 3HF
    01889 586486