Irish Uses and Utilization

ISRG LogoApplied research on seaweed in Ireland is carried out by the Irish Seaweed Research Group at NUI Galway. Contact should be made this group for information on applied aspects of seaweed research in Ireland. Contact information for seaweed harvesting, aquaculture, and foreshore licensing are given at the bottom of this page.

Fact sheets for Irish macroalgae

Edwards, M., Hanniffy, D., Heesch, S., Hernández-Kantún, J., Moniz, M., Queguineur, B., Ratcliff, J., Soler-Vila, A., & Wan, A. (2012). Macroalgae Fact-sheets. Edited by Soler-Vila, A., & Moniz, M. 40 pp. Download.

Some general information on Irish seaweed:

Connemara © M.D. Guiry
The size of the Irish industry should be considered in relation to the international seaweed industry. About 10 million t of seaweeds (wet weight) are produced world-wide each year. Brown algae accounted for 7 million t, of which Chinese production alone of the food kelp Saccharina japonica was 6.5 million t alone, making it the largest single-species crop produced by aquaculture in the world. About 300,000 t of this material is used in China to make about 7,000 t of alginates, viscous polysaccharides used in a wide variety of industrial applications, particularly in the food industry. In addition, Japan and Korea produce about 21,000 million sheets of nori (about 550,000 wet t). Nori is a red alga (mainly Pyropia yezoensis formerly Porphyra yezoensis), and this crop is worth about US$1.5 billion, the most valuable single-species crop produced by aquaculture in the world. The third most valuable food species is wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) of which 750,000 t were produced in Japan, Korea and China in 1995. Most of the remaining seaweed harvesting and aquaculture goes to fuel the production of the three families of seaweed polysaccharides known as seaweed gums: alginates from brown algae, and carrageenans and agars from red algae. The wholesale value of these gums is about US$950 million. The total worth of the international seaweed business exceeds US$6 billion, of which Ireland had only a very small percentage.

Commercial Development of Seaweed in Ireland

For enquires regarding commercial development or aquaculture of Irish seaweed, please contact: Irish Seaweed Research Group at the Ryan Institute NUI Galway.

Foreshore Matters in Ireland and Harvesting

Foreshore Co-Ordination Unit
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
National Seafood Centre
Clonakilty
Co. Cork
e-mail: foreshore@agriculture.gov.ie
Telephone: +353 23 88 59500
LoCall: 1890 25 27 41
Fax: +353 23 88 21782

Aquaculture Licence Enquiries in Ireland

Aquaculture Licensing Section
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
National Seafood Centre
Clonakilty
Co. Cork
E-mail: Aquaculturelicensing@agriculture.gov.ie
Telephone: +353 23 88 59500
LoCall: 1890 25 27 41
Fax: +353 23 88 21782