Sustainable seaweed production in the North Sea realistic

Sep 30, 2013

Moving sustainable production offshore can solve global environmental issues. Seaweed has the potential to deliver new biomass flows for animal feed, food, and non-food products. For instance, sugars and proteins from seaweed can form an alternative to soya and fishmeal. The use of seaweed for the production of chemicals and biofuels is a climate-friendly alternative to fossil raw materials. This is demonstrated in the report 'A Triple P review of the feasibility of sustainable offshore seaweed production in the North Sea' by Wageningen UR. This report examines the feasibility of seaweed production in the North Sea within the framework of people, planet and profit.

Seventy per cent of our planet's surface is made up of oceans and seas. Moving production offshore will eliminate competition for land use, the exhaustion of soil nutrients and the loss of natural forest. However, a disadvantage to is that it will not be possible to achieve production and use in the short term. One reason for this is current legislation.

From the standpoint of profits, seaweed is primarily attractive as a source of high-quality substances such as Omega 3 fatty acids, as a component in animal feed and as a raw material for chemical substances. The value of seaweed can be increased if various applications are intelligently combined and if biorefining is used. Currently, seaweed is mostly produced in China. The research team recommends the sustainable offshore production of seaweed in the North Sea in order to contribute added value and to offer a competitive product.

Organisation essential

In addition to adapting legislation in order to permit the establishment of offshore seaweed production, it is necessary that the various offshore disciplines communicate with one another. In order to successfully produce seaweed, the various knowledge areas, from plant knowledge and biorefinery knowledge to social science, must all be brought together. The development of large-scale, sustainable, seaworthy installations can be worked on in collaboration with various economic sectors, from marine technology to livestock feed production.

Explore further: Analysing the benefits of seaweed for SMEs

More information: www.wageningenur.nl/upload_mm/5/8/a/3f2a0f53-b34a-4cbd-bc9a-f505d12e8aca_Rapport%2013-077%20vdBurg_DEF_WEB.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Analysing the benefits of seaweed for SMEs

Apr 25, 2013

The health benefits of sea vegetables such as seaweed have been well documented by nutrition experts. Traditionally, those eating seaweed-based diets have shown fewer instances of obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's ...

Researchers develop system to clean seaweed from beaches

May 03, 2013

A research group at the University of Alicante (Spain) has invented an algae removal and treatment system that turns this underused residue into a renewable source of energy: biomass. The process involves ...

North Atlantic seaweed is safe to eat

Apr 30, 2013

Seaweed has been eaten for thousands of years by people all over the world, and it can be considered a tasty and healthy food item. This is the conclusion from professor Ole G. Mouritsen, Department of Physics, Chemistry ...

Biofuels from the sea

Jul 04, 2011

Seaweed may prove a viable future biofuel – especially if harvested in summer.

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...