Global certification standard Friend of the Sea has certified Feteira, Ilha Do Faial, Portugal-based seaExpert for sustainable seaweed production.
Established in 2003 in the Azores archipelago, a Portuguese archipelago located in the North Atlantic Ocean, seaExpert deploys divers to manually harvest seaweed. SeaExpert harvests nine different species of algae, which are dried in green houses and solar dryers. Its clients include makers of cosmetics, supplements, and livestock feed.
Milan, Italy-based Friend of the Sea certifies the sustainability of wild and farmed seafood. For seaweed, it certifies harvesting and farming companies that respect standards it sets on water quality, social conditions, and product traceability, among other qualifications.
“[These standards] aim to protect from overfishing wild seaweeds, which serve as a crop and as a habitat for hundreds of other ocean species,” Friend of the Sea Founder and Director Paolo Bray said in a statement. “Including seaweed in cattle feed has the power to offset ruminant methane emissions, a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect. Seaweed production has boomed in the last years.”
Photo courtesy of seaExpert