Towards a regional seaweed economy
A growing global demand for nutrition and high-quality resources challenges us to explore new methods of food production. seaweed production does not require fresh water, fertilizer nor farmland. As such seaweed is a sustainable resource for healthy nutrition and adds to our food security for the European region. Seaweed converts the greenhouse gas CO2 into biomass and oxygen. This counters oceanic acidification and climate change. Also, the production fields, i.e. seaweed farms create excellent shelter and nurseries for juvenile fish and other organisms such as shellfish and crustaceans. Moreover, seaweed farming will enable multi- use with functions such as wind energy, fishery , shellfish cultivation, etc.
Sustainable seaweed cultivation is feasible in salty marshes, near coastal areas and within offshore wind farms. Seaweed, thus, has the potential for developing a new blue-green economy, with excellent opportunities for Europe as seaweed frontrunner.
The Seaweed Platform is an initiative by the North Sea Farm foundation with the aim of enabling coalitions towards realising the seaweed economy in our region. Businesses, governments and research organisations will develop and promote using our oceans as a sustainable and local source of food, feed and biobased applications. The Seaweed Platform connects partners in agriculture, food, offshore and maritime sector, matches business with public affairs and intensifies the dialogue with society on shaping new production chains.
The platform is made up of partners throughout the whole value chain that jointly stimulate the development of the regional seaweed sector. Annually this is being facilitated by a series of workshops that are open for all members. The Seaweed Platform furthermore has been initiating and managing various focus groups that are aimed at making structural contributions to developing and sharing knowledge and expertise in the regional seaweed sector. Another way of simulating development of the regional seaweed economy. The current focus groups include:
- Working group Seaweed Atlas;
Maps the most suitable coastal areas for growing seaweed
- Working group 1000 Kilo Test;
Designs and executes test facilities
- Working group Cultivation Techniques
Focused on finding the best growing methods
- Working group Business
Ceizes opportunities for developing the businesscase ‘seaweed’