Seaweeds are an important raw material for many industries: food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers and animal feed. Although more than 95 per cent of global seaweed production is farmed, there are concerns over wild seaweed harvest.
Indeed, their high demand may bring over-harvesting and loss of ecosystems, a natural habitat for the diverse marine life. Several studies have however highlighted how small scale seaweed farming can provide social and economic benefits to local communities and at the same time have a positive impact in terms of carbon footprint.
Nowadays, China, Indonesia and the Philippines lead global seaweed production, which is approximately 21 million metric tons a year.
The core criteria of the Friend of the Sea sustainable seaweed certification are:
- No impact on critical habitat
- Water monitoring
- Chemicals and hazardous substances
- Energy management
- Social accountability
“Seaweeds are an important component of the oceans and deserve more attention and protection,” says Paolo Bray, Director and Founder of Friend of the Sea.
“We are convinced that a sustainable production of seaweed will help reduce the impact on the marine environment.”