Seaweed may become a marine industry

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Seaweeds and micro-algae have been receiving increasing interest and investment over recent years, and may at some point become one of the UK’s established marine industries.

Dr Craig Rose, guest lecturer at Newcastle University, told MJ that seaweeds have huge potential far beyond the harvestable wild stocks available in the UK and Europe.

“Consequently, cultivation of seaweeds offshore is expected to be a very significant marine industry that may need to produce hundreds of thousands of tons a year”, he said.

Application areas include the biofuel sector, as the plants can be harvested for biogas, bioethanol, biobutanol and biodiesel. However, the life science and biomedical sector is also interested as seaweeds extracts such as fucoidins, laminarins, polyphenols may be useful in cancer treatments as well as other health related applications. Last but not least, there is a small tradition of using seaweed as a food crop.

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Source: Maritime Journal

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