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
Investigating the need for environmental risk assessment of chemical crop protection practices in seaweedWageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Rapport / Wageningen Environmental Research 3113) - p.
Evaluation of the nutritional value of seaweed products for broiler chickens’ nutritionAnimal Feed Science and Technology 280 (2021). - ISSN 0377-8401
Hybrid solar-seaweed biorefinery for co-production of biochemicals, biofuels, electricity, and water : Thermodynamics, life cycle assessment, and cost-benefit analysisEnergy Conversion and Management 246 (2021). - ISSN 0196-8904
Environmental impact and nutritional value of food products using the seaweed Saccharina latissimaJournal of Cleaner Production 319 (2021). - ISSN 0959-6526
Impact of off-bottom seaweed cultivation on turbulent variation in the hydrodynamic environment : A flume experiment study with mimic and natural Saccharina latissima thalliScience of the Total Environment 797 (2021). - ISSN 0048-9697
Safe Seaweed in Europe
Safe Seaweed Aquaculture in a Circular Bioeconomy
The Bio Economic Seaweed Model (BESeM) for modelling kappaphycus cultivation in IndonesiaThe Bio Economic Seaweed Model (BESeM) for modelling kappaphycus cultivation in Indonesia, Youtube, 9:04 minutes, 2021-07-07, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urpuWXVIV2A
Not all seaweed is suitable as a methane inhibitorNot all seaweed is suitable as a methane inhibitor, All About Feed, Ed. 29(3), 2021-05-07, Klaas ter Horst
Innovation and collaboration : Opportunities for the european seaweed sector in global value chainsJournal of Marine Science and Engineering 9 (2021)7. - ISSN 2077-1312