Seaweeds are sea plants, plants that grown in the sea. The nutrients / vitamins / trace elements are more readily available in seaweeds / sea plants than they are in land plants.
Eedible-seaweedSeaweeds / Algae are identified by their colors and comprise of three divisions:
- Brown Algae / Seaweed – Phaeophyta
- Red Algae / Seaweed – Rhodophyta
- Green Algae / Seaweed – Chlorophyta
- Of the global seaweed harvest 85% – 95% goes to the food industry and is worth approx €4.1 billion p. a.
- The most valuable crop produced by seaweed aquaculture is Nori – Porphyra – a red seaweed / alga. The value of this crop is around US$ 2 billion p.a. (approx 130 t dry weight)
- The seaweed that produces the largest amount by aquaculture is Laminaria japonica – similar to the Irish Seaweed Laminaria digitata.
- China produces around 3.8 million tones p.a. of Laminaria japonica
- The majority of the seaweed industry is by aquaculture in Japan, China and North & South Korea.
Use of algae:
- Food and food supplements – edible seaweeds / algae that are sold as sea vegetables (sea veg, sea veggies) (image: sea weed and sea weed salad)
- Fertilizers, liquid seaweed extracts and soil conditioners
- Raw material for seaweed polymers such as the alginate industry
- Cosmetics,bodycare,thalassotherapy and medicinal preparations.