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: Major storm threatens Northeast with up to 2 feet of snow

More information: www.wageningenur.nl/upload_mm/… 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

Montana oil spill estimate lowered to 30,000 gallons

12 hours ago

Authorities have lowered their estimate of how much oil spilled from a broken pipeline beneath the Yellowstone River in eastern Montana, briefly contaminating the water supply of a city downstream.

British lawmakers demand freeze on fracking

Jan 26, 2015

A committee of British lawmakers demanded a national moratorium on fracking due to environmental concerns on Monday, ahead of a crucial vote intended to boost the shale gas industry.

UN moves toward major treaty for ocean biodiversity

Jan 25, 2015

UN member states agreed Saturday to begin negotiations on a treaty to protect marine biodiversity in ocean areas extending beyond territorial waters, in a move heralded by environmental organizations.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.