What is it about?
Domestication of the oceans is widely regarded as a possible solution to increase food and could be one of the next most important developments in human history. Seaweed aquaculture can help to address global challenges related to nutrition, health and sustainable circular bio economy. Today, there is growing need for development, improvement and diversification of seaweed aquaculture practices in Europe, a continent characterised by its large coastal territory and large range of climates.
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Why is it important?
Seaweed are plant-like organisms, playing a key ecological role in coastal ecosystems: support of food web, coastal protection of erosion, bioremediation by removal of nitrogen or phosphate and possible pollutants and CO2 sequestration. Although European marine flora displays one of the highest species-diversity levels in the world, its commercial production is still in its infancy, with only 1% of the world’s production from which less than 1% was coming from aquaculture in 2016. Interest in seaweed-based industrial applications is on the rise. The estimated value of the global seaweed production industry is more than ~ 8B€ (for 30Mt) and is continuing to expand. Seaweed are thus a promising bioresource for the future and the demand for high-value seaweed-derived compounds (cosmetics, food) is growing in Europe. However, the European production lags behind Asian countries despite its large exclusive economic zone, its high seaweed biodiversity and its international leadership in fundamental research on seaweed genomics, genetics and cutting-edge techniques.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Development and objectives of the PHYCOMORPH European Guidelines for the Sustainable Aquaculture of Seaweeds (PEGASUS), Botanica Marina, January 2020, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/bot-2019-0051.
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Searica intergroup, European parliament, seaweed aquaculture guidelines
Seaweeds are increasingly used as a source of food or for the production of cosmetics, medicines and fertilisers. Worldwide the annual production increase of about 7 per cent. The demands for high-value seaweed-derived compounds is increasing in Europe and importation is high. However, Europe lags behind Asian countries despite its largest exclusive economic zone, its high seaweed biodiversity, and its international leadership in fundamental research on macroalgae A working group of the COST Action FA1406 PHYCOMORPH will publish soon the PEGASUS guidelines (technical document) that propose balanced and long-term recommendations based on a detailed analysis of current seaweed aquaculture practices, regulations, health benefits and consumer demands, with a focus on the protection of the marine environment. This topic was presented to the SEARICA intergroup from the European Parliament on 19 February 2019
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