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A disconnect between potential producers and the markets

Preview of the presentation of Michele Stanley, SAMS

There is considerable interest within Europe linked to the cultivation of seaweeds initially for biofuels but now increasingly for food and biotechnology applications. What has become clear is that there is a disconnect between potential producers and the markets open to them.  A key objective if this new “marine farming” industry is to establish itself within Europe is improvements in crop yield coupled with the ability to tailor the crop to market needs. Plus, although not specifically mandated at present, companies are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of demonstrating environmental sustainability and maintenance or improvement of ecosystem services on consumer purchasing choices.  Sustainable production of seaweeds for human food consumption/high value chemicals is of vital importance to the development of robust supply chains for algal products, both now and in the future. What we do know is that seaweed growth is dependent on the presence of suitable physical and chemical conditions including temperature, salinity, water motion, nutrient concentrations, carbon dioxide/ pH, light and ultra-violet radiation.