1. Agriculture World

LATEST! European Scientists Framed Guidelines for Sustainable Seaweed Harvest

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

A consortium of European scientists has come out with a set of guidelines after realising that seaweeds have the potential to meet food and fuel needs of the growing global population. It will help people farm them in a sustainable way. These guidelines, funded by the European Cooperation of Science and Technology (COST), is one of the first such initiatives in the world.

Though seaweeds can be used for human consumption, as bio-fertilisers, for food/feed or bio-energy production, and can provide raw materials for cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, its commercial production is only 1 per cent of the global output coming from aquaculture in 2016.

At present, only 30 million tonnes of seaweeds, costing €8 billion, are being harvested every year. However, in India, seaweeds grow in large quantity along the Tamil Nadu and Gujarat coasts and around Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Around, 700 species of marine algae found in both inter-tidal and deep water regions of the Indian coast, about 60 species are commercially important, as per a report from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

It is to be noted that, a multi-country team of scientists has come with fine details on the status quo, best practices, legislation and regulations applying to the production with a focus on consumption of seaweed as food or food supplement.

This report is called as Phycomorph European Guidelines for a Sustainable Seaweed aquaculture or Pegasus. It argued that seaweed aquaculture has the potential to address global challenges related to nutrition, health and sustainable circular bio-economy.

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