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
Ulva spp. performance and biomitigation potential under high nutrient concentrations : implications for recirculating IMTA systemsJournal of Applied Phycology (2022). - ISSN 0921-8971
Proteolytic enzyme-treated seaweed co-product (Ulva laetevirens) inclusion in corn-soybean and European broiler diets to improve digestibility, health, and performancePoultry Science 101 (2022)6. - ISSN 0032-5791
A reversal of defaults: Implementing a menu-based default nudge to promote out-of-home consumer adoption of plant-based meat alternativesAppetite 175 (2022). - ISSN 0195-6663
Payment for ecosystem services provided by mussels, oysters and seaweed: Dataset on exploring mechanisms to pay for ecosystem services provided by mussels, oysters and seaweed: Wageningen University & Research
1s5: Seaweed extracts to boost crop productivity under stress conditionsIn: Circular@WUR 2022. - : Wageningen University & Research
1s4: Modelling seaweed cultivation on the dutch continental shelfIn: Circular@WUR 2022. - : Wageningen University & Research
1s4: Suitability of world seas and oceans for seaweed cultivationIn: Circular@WUR 2022. - : Wageningen University & Research
A proteolytic enzyme treatment to improve Ulva laetevirens and Solieria chordalis seaweed co-product digestibility, performance, and health in broilersPoultry Science 101 (2022)5. - ISSN 0032-5791
Seaweed cultivation in Vietnam for livestock methane reduction : A Top Sector Agri & Food SMP (Seed Money Project) reportWageningen : Stichting Wageningen Research, Wageningen Plant Research, Business Unit Agrosystems Research (Report / Stichting Wageningen Research, Wageningen Plant Research, Business Unit Agrosystems Research WPR-1131) - ISBN 9789464471465 - p.
Seasonal variation in productivity, chemical composition and nutrient uptake of Ulva spp. (Chlorophyta) strainsJournal of Applied Phycology 34 (2022)3. - ISSN 0921-8971 - p. 1649 - 1660.