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A guide to the

seaweed industry
FAO
FISHERIES
TECHNICAL
PAPER
441
ISSN 0429-9345


















The designations employed and the presentation of material in this
information product do not imply the expression of any opinion
whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of
the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of
any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning
the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.








ISBN 92-5-104958-0






All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this
information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are
authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders
provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this
information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited
without written permission of the copyright holders. Applications for such
permission should be addressed to the Chief, Publishing Management Service,
Information Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy or
by e-mail to copyright@fao.org
© FAO 2003

The word “countries” appearing in the text refers to countries,
territories and areas without distinction.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s)
and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations nor of their
affiliated organization(s).

The mention or omission of specific companies, their products or
brand names does not imply any endorsement or judgement by
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
PKLPAKATIOÞ OI THIS DOCLMLÞT
1
Lis 1ecLnical Paper is yritten lor tLose yLo knoy little alout tLe seayeeo
inoustry, lut yisL to knoy more. ¡t Las leen yritten yitL a minimum ol
tecLnical language ano is oesigneo to Lelp tLose yLo are askeo to make oecisions
concerning tLe seayeeo inoustry yLen tLey Lave little lackgrouno inlormation to assist
tLem. SucL oecisions may le alout regulation ol tLe various sectors ol tLe inoustry,
alout assistance to it, or nnancial investment in it. 1Lis may involve people in looies
sucL as government agencies, oevelopment lanks, national ano international aio ano
oevelopment organizations, ÞGCs ano nnancial institutions.
¡t may also le ol value to marine scientists, or stuoents ol marine science, yLo yisL to
exteno tLeir knoyleoge ol tLe macro-algae ano tLeir application in tLe looo, Lyorocolloio
ano otLer inoustries.
1Len tLere are tLose people, many ol yLom tLe autLor Las encountereo over tLe last
tyenty years, yLo olserve tLe vast ouantities ol seayeeos on coasts ano in seas arouno
tLe yorlo ano ask °WLat can le oone yitL it ano Loy coulo tLey pront ly utilizing tLis
natural resource¹" 1Lis paper is a uselul starting point lor sucL entrepreneurs.
1Le nrst section ÷ ¡ntroouction to commercial seayeeos ÷ is recommenoeo to all
reaoers, especially tLose yLo neeo a lriel overviey ol tLe inoustry. Eeaoers yitL more
specinc interests can tLen move to tLe otLer sections, yLicL oeal yitL particular sectors
ol tLe seayeeo inoustry. Here, sulncient oetail is provioeo lor tLe average reaoer, lut lor
tLose reouiring more inlormation on particular topics, lists ol uselul relerences are given
in tLe text.
Distribution.
!AC !isLeries Lepartment - Selecteo aooresses
!AC Eegional !isLeries Clncers
iv
ACKÞOWLLDCLMLÞTS
1
Le autLor yisLes to acknoyleoge tLe many people yLo contriluteo ioeas ano
inlormation. A special tLanks goes to Hans Porse, ol CP Ielco ApS, yLo useo Lis
extensive contacts in tLe inoustry ano Lis oyn expertise to compile tLe talles ol
statistics ÷ a oilncult task in tLe seayeeo inoustry.
1Lanks also to tLe lolloying, yLo contriluteo in various yays: Marcela Avila, Ealael
Armisen, Pierre Arzel, ¡rick Ask, H.E. °Pete" Bixler, Paul Braoy, Luika Burges Watson, A.A.
°¡o" Cayer, javier !ernanoez, joel !leurence, joanna M. jones, P.P. IirscL, Lavio ¡uxton,
Alan Millar, Gillies Mur, Lavio Myslalooski, Masao CLno, Ilaus Eotmann, Peter Salling,
EicLaro I. Searle, ano ¡inoa 1Leriault.
!inally a special tLanks to tLe autLor`s yile, jan, lor Ler unoerstanoing ano support ouring
tLe yriting ol tLis paper.
!inal eoiting on leLall ol !AC ano preparation lor pullisLing yas ly 1Lorgeir ¡ayrence.
ABSTKACT
S
eayeeo is a very versatile proouct yioely useo lor looo in oirect Luman
consumption. ¡t is also an ingreoient lor tLe glolal looo ano cosmetics inoustries
ano is useo as lertilizer ano as an animal leeo aooitive. 1otal annual value ol
proouction is estimateo at almost LS$ 6 lillion ol yLicL looo prooucts lor Luman
consumption represent LS$ 5 lillion. 1otal annual use ly tLe glolal seayeeo inoustry is
alout 8 million tonnes ol yet seayeeo.
Seayeeo can le collecteo lrom tLe yilo lut is noy increasingly cultivateo. ¡t lalls into
tLree lroao groups laseo on pigmentation, lroyn, reo ano green seayeeo.
Lse ol seayeeo as looo Las strong roots in Asian countries sucL as CLina, japan ano
tLe Eepullic ol Iorea, lut oemano lor seayeeo as looo Las noy also spreao to ÞortL
America, SoutL America ano ¡urope. CLina is ly lar tLe largest seayeeo prooucer
lolloyeo ly tLe Eepullic ol Iorea ano japan lut seayeeos are tooay proouceo in all
continents.
Eeo ano lroyn seayeeos are also useo to proouce Lyorocolloios, alginate, agar ano
carrageenan, yLicL are useo as tLickening ano gelling agents. 1ooay, approximately
1 million tonnes ol yet seayeeo are Larvesteo ano extracteo to proouce alout 55 000
tonnes ol Lyorocolloios, valueo at almost LS$ 600 million.
McHugL, L.j.
A guioe to tLe seayeeo inoustry.
'"0'JTIFSJFT5FDIOJDBM1BQFSÞo. ++1.
Eome, !AC. 2003. 105p.
COÞTLÞTS
Preparation ol tLis oocument ¡ii
Acknoyleogements iv
Alstract v
1. IÞTKODLCTIOÞ TO COMMLKCIAL SLAWLLDS 1
1.1 Scope ol tLe seayeeo inoustry 1
1.2 Classincation ol seayeeos 1
1.3 Lses ol seayeeos ÷ an overviey 1
1.+ Sources ol seayeeo 3
1.+.1 Broyn seayeeos 3
1.+.2 Eeo seayeeos +
1.5 Cultivation metLoos ÷ general outline 6
2. SLAWLLDS LSLD AS A SOLKCL OI ACAK 9
2.1 Genera ano species useo 9
2.2 Þatural Lalitats 9
2.3 Sources ol agaropLytes 10
2.+ Harvesting metLoos lor yilo agaropLytes 11
2.5 Cultivation ol agaropLytes 12
2.6 Cuantities Larvesteo 15
2.7 Markets 15
2.8 !uture prospects 16
3. ACAK 17
3.1 Agar proouction metLoos 17
3.1.1 !ooo graoe agar 17
3.1.2 Agar strips 21
3.1.3 Bacteriological agar 21
3.1.+ Agarose 21
3.2 Agar prooucers 22
3.3 Agar uses 23
3.3.1 !ooo 2+
3.3.2 CtLer uses 2+
3.3.3 Microliological agar 2+
3.+ Markets ano marketing ol agar 25
3.5 !uture prospects 25
4. SLAWLLDS LSLD AS A SOLKCL OI ALCIÞATL 27
viii
+.1 Genera ano species useo 27
+.2 Þatural Lalitats 27
+.3 Sources ol alginopLytes 32
+.+ Harvesting metLoos lor yilo seayeeos 33
+.5 Cultivation ol seayeeos 36
+.6 Cuantities Larvesteo 36
+.7 Markets 36
+.8 !uture prospects 37
5. ALCIÞATL 39
5.1 Alginate proouction metLoos 39
5.1.1 Sooium alginate 39
5.1.2 CtLer alginate prooucts +2
5.2 Alginate prooucers +2
5.3 Alginate uses +3
5.3.1 1extile printing ++
5.3.2 !ooo ++
5.3.3 ¡mmolilizeo liocatalysts +6
5.3.+ PLarmaceutical ano meoical uses +6
5.3.5 CtLer applications +7
5.+ Markets ano marketing ol alginates +8
5.5 !uture prospects +9
6. SLAWLLDS LSLD AS A SOLKCL OI CAKKACLLÞAÞ 51
6.1 Genera ano species useo 51
6.2 Þatural Lalitats 51
6.3 Sources ol carrageenopLytes 53
6.+ Harvesting metLoos lor yilo carrageenopLytes 5+
6.5 Cultivation ol carrageenopLytes 55
6.6 Cuantities Larvesteo 59
6.7 Markets 60
6.8 !uture prospects 60
7. CAKKACLLÞAÞ 61
7.1 Carrageenan proouction metLoos 61
7.1.1 Eenneo carrageenan ano nltereo carrageenan 61
7.1.2 Semi-renneo carrageenan ano seayeeo hour 63
7.1.3 PLilippine natural graoe (PÞG) ano processeo ¡ucLeuma
seayeeo (P¡S) 6+
7.2 Carrageenan prooucers ano oistrilutors 65
7.2.1 Eenneo carrageenan prooucers ano oistrilutors 66
7.2.2 PÞG ano P¡S ano seayeeo hour prooucers ano oistrilutors 67
7.3 Carrageenan uses 68
7.3.1 Lairy prooucts 69
7.3.2 Water-laseo looos 69
7.3.3 Meat prooucts 70
7.3.+ Pet looo 70
7.3.5 Air lresLener gels 71
7.3.6 1ootLpaste 71
7.3.7 ¡mmolilizeo liocatalysts 71
7.3.8 !or lurtLer oetails 71
7.3.9 Eenneo graoe vs natural graoe 71
7.+ Markets ano marketing ol carrageenan 71
7.5 !uture prospects 72
8. SLAWLLDS LSLD AS HLMAÞ IOOD 73
8.1 ¡ntroouction 73
8.2 Þori or purple laver (1PSQIZSBspp.) 73
8.3 Aonori or green laver (.POPTUSPNB spp. ano &OUFSPNPSQIBspp.) 76
8.+ Iomlu or Laioai (-BNJOBSJBKBQPOJDB) 77
8.5 Wakame, ouanoai-cai (6OEBSJBQJOOBUJàEB) 81
8.6 Hiziki ()J[JLJBGVTJGPSNF) 83
8.7 Mozuku ($MBEPTJQIPOPLBNVSBOVT) 85
8.8 Sea grapes or green caviar ($BVMFSQBMFOUJMMJGFSB) 86
8.9 Lulse (1BMNBSJBQBMNBUB) 87
8.10 ¡risL moss or carrageenan moss ($IPOESVTDSJTQVT) 88
8.11 Wingeo kelp ("MBSJBFTDVMFOUB) 88
8.12 Cgo, ogonori or sea moss ((SBDJMBSJBspp.) 88
8.13 $BMMPQIZMMJTWBSJFHBUB 89
8.1+ !uture prospects 89
9. OTHLK LSLS OI SLAWLLDS 91
9.1 !ertilizers ano soil conoitioners 91
9.2 Animal leeo 93
9.3 !isL leeo 9+
9.+ Biomass lor luel 9+
9.5 Cosmetics 95
9.6 ¡ntegrateo aouaculture 96
9.7 Wasteyater treatment 97
9.7.1 1reatment ol yasteyater to reouce nitrogen- ano
pLospLorus-containing compounos 97
9.7.2 Eemoval ol toxic metals lrom inoustrial yasteyater 98
x
KLILKLÞCLS 1 ~ LITLKATLKL SOLKCLS 101
KLILKLÞCLS 2 ~ IÞTLKÞLT SOLKCLS 105

Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. territories and areas without distinction. their products or brand names does not imply any endorsement or judgement by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.org © FAO 2003 . Information Division. The mention or omission of specific companies. Viale delle Terme di Caracalla. Italy or by e-mail to copyright@fao. territory. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country. city or area or of its authorities. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations nor of their affiliated organization(s). Publishing Management Service. ISBN 92-5-104958-0 All rights reserved. 00100 Rome. or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders.The word “countries” appearing in the text refers to countries. FAO. Applications for such permission should be addressed to the Chief.

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