Seagriculture EU
29 - 30 June 2022
Bremerhaven, Germany

ULVA: Tomorrow's “Wheat of the Sea”. A model for an innovative mariculture

Muki Shpigel, Professor of marine biology, University of Haifa, IL

About the speaker: Muki Shpigel is a professor of marine biology at the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, and a senior research scientist at the Morris Kahn Marine Research Station, on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Israel. His pioneering research has explored the use of Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems to produce safe, sustainable sources of high-quality, nutrient-rich foods. That includes finfish, bivalve and gastropod, marine algae, and salt-tolerant plants. 

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The increasing global struggle to secure enough food for the growing human population has met with an increasing interest in the development of coastal areas that seek alternative sustainable food sources and valuable bioproducts from the oceans. The COST Action initiative presented here aims at exploiting the potential of marine seaweeds in Europe.  Due to the unique characteristics of Ulva spp., we have identified these green algae as the most suitable candidates and model organisms for an innovative kind of European mariculture. The main aim of our COST Action is to create a comprehensive step change in the knowledge of the entire Ulva genus. The challenges include: (a) in-depth analysis of Ulva’s commercial applications in the human food and animal feed industries; (b) the structure characterization of new bioactive molecules and their consequent synthesis; (c) the algae economic potential; (d) the algae’s impact on the ecosystem services and social welfare. This Action will lead to the development of advanced knowledge, create business and job opportunities in maritime and coastal economies, and have a significant positive impact on societal welfare. 


Seaweed, Ulva, ecosystem services, food, and feed.