Seaweed Farming
Around the World

There are many positive environmental, social, and economic benefits the cultivation of seaweed are contributing to today. Seaweed farming has played a major historical role in many communities and cultures around the globe, and the responsible scaling of this industry will lead to more sustainable development in the future. Let’s take a look at the history and culture of farming around the world.

Farming in the Caribbean

The Caribbean contains hundreds of species of algae mainly referred to as Sea Moss or Irish Moss. The majority of these species are a classification of Gracilaria or Euchuma.

It is commonly used to improve immune system support, digestive healing, fertility, and sexual performance enhancement.

Farming in Africa

Along the coastlines of Tanzania and Zanzibar, seaweed aquaculture is an important industry to coastal women and also serve as an alternative livelihood to over-harvested local fisheries.

The industry has positive impacts to their families and communities. In South Africa seaweed has been farmed and used commercially as feedstock for phycocolloid production, for the production of abalone feed, and the production of biogas.

Farming in Europe

Some of the earliest evidence of algae harvesting started in Ireland around the 19th century. The algae (Chondrus Chrispus) was used as cattle feed, mattress stuffing, and thickener for coloured inks that are used in printing.

It was also used to treat respiratory ailments like pneumonia and tuberculosis, and became the primary source of nutrition during the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840’s.

Farming in Asia

The use of seaweeds as human food in eastern Asian countries has a long history, stretching back over a thousand years. It was not until the late 1940s that cultivation of seaweeds in near-shore coastal areas began!

With exponential growth over recent decades, farmed seaweed output reached 24 million tons by 2012. Just eight Asian nations produced 99% of that while most of the world’s 150 countries and territories with coasts were yet to begin seaweed farming.

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