World Production of seaweed

Between 1981 and 1994 world production of seaweed increased from 3.2 million tonnes (fresh weight) to nearly 7 million t. The seaweeds that are most exploited are the brown algae with about 5.2 million t (75%) followed by the red algae (1.73 million t; 25%) and a small amount of green algae (about 0.5%).

The seaweed that is most cultivated in the kelp Laminaria japonica, which accounts for most of Chinese production (about 3.8 million t). The most valuable crop is the red alga Nori (Porphyra species, mainly P. yezoensis). Japanese production is worth about $US 1 billion and Korean production about US$0.5 billion. More recent cultivation figures from China suggest a harvest of nearly 9.5 million tonnes.

Table: World production of seaweed (from Algo Rhythme, No. 31, CEVA, Pluebian, France)

 Country/Area  Seaweed (fresh weight million t )  World production (%)












Far East counties (total)















European countries






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