Ireland to ramp up seaweed aquaculture


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 10, 2010

A new seaweed-cultivation project aims at doubling the value of Ireland’s annual seaweed production to EUR 20 million by 2013.

The project is a collaboration between Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Marine Institute and the Irish Sea Fisheries Board.

The project’s goal is to develop and trial industry-scale hatchery and growing methodologies for three seaweed species — dillisk, nori and kelp — and to transfer that technology to create new business opportunities in seaweed aquaculture.

Coordinated by BIM, the research team is a diverse collection of academic and industrial partners, including Queen’s University Belfast, the National University of Ireland, Galway, and several seaweed companies — Cartron Point Shellfish Ltd., Tower Aqua Products Ltd., Dolphin Sea Vegetable Co., G and B Barge Operators Ltd., Roaring Water Bay Seaweed Cooperative Society Ltd. and Cleggan Seaweeds.

“Innovation is key to ensuring that the full potential of the Irish seafood sector is fully realized. Seaweed is an extremely versatile naturally occurring raw material,” said BIM CEO Jason Whooley. “This study aims to develop and disseminate cultivation techniques for a number of key species. We will be working closely with the companies involved and the wider industry to ensure that the cultivation sector expands to meet market demand.”

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