There is an increasing interest within Western Europe for the cultivation of seaweed as a resource for feed, bio-stimulants for soil and crops, and as a bio-feedstock. The fact that the cultivation of seaweed requires no farmland and that many types grow in salt or brackish water are distinct advantages. As yet, the cultivation of seaweed in the Dutch waters is limited, but in the coming decades more wind farms will be developed in the North Sea with opportunities for a combination with large-scale seaweed cultivation. Seaweed is already cultivated extensively in Asian countries, but the production methods are not always sustainable. Wageningen University & Research (WUR) works on sustainable seaweed cultivation technology, explicitly targeting the North Sea area.
Topics on which our efforts focus are:
- The economic and technological feasibility of large-scale cultivation of seaweed
- Spatial requirements and the effects on the marine ecosystem
- The development of sustainable cultivation methods and seaweed breeding
- The processing of harvested biomass and development of bio-refinery and fermentation technology
- Development of sales channels and business cases
- Taking stock of risks, for example regarding food safety
Our research is project-based. Funding is provided by, among others, the European Union, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Safety, TKI-Agri&Food and the business and seaweed sectors.
Reports and articles
- Report: Development of Offshore Seaweed Cultivation: food safety, cultivation, ecology and economy - Mar 2019
- Report: A Triple P review of the feasibility of sustainable offshore seaweed production in the North Sea - Sep 2013
- Farming at sea - Sustainable seaweed Published in Wageningen World no. 3 2011
Seaweed as climate mitigation solution : Categorizing and reflecting on four climate mitigation pathwaysWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change (2023) - ISSN 1757-7780
Combinatieteelt biedt kansenIn: Biowetenschappen en Maatschappij - Stichting Biowetenschappen en Maatschappij - ISBN: 9789493232068 - p. 62-63.
Europees zeewierteelt op komstIn: Biowetenschappen en Maatschappij - Stichting Biowetenschappen en Maatschappij - ISBN: 9789493232068 - p. 13-15.
Safe Seaweed by Design – Food Safety
Wageningen Food Safety Research & Seaweed
Safe seaweed & research opportunities at Wageningen Food Safety Research
Bioavailability of iodine species from various commercially consumed seaweed speciesWageningen: Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR Report 2023.004)
Data underlying the study: Addition of iron does not ameliorate sulfide toxicity by sargassum influx to mangroves but dampens methane and nitrous oxide emissions
Can seaweeds feed the world? Modelling world offshore seaweed production potentialEcological Modelling (2023), Volume: 484 - ISSN 0304-3800
Eiwit uit zeewier biedt kansen, maar is nog geen laaghangend fruit