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Sustainable Seaweed Harvest Management. Erick Ask FMC BioPolymer. About FMC. Diversified Chemical Company. Traded on NYSE, ticker symbol FMC Ag Chem, Industrial, Specialty Chemicals. #1 in carrageenan and alginate. Based in Philadelphia. Red seaweed resource Brown seaweed resource.

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about fmc
About FMC
  • Diversified Chemical Company.
  • Traded on NYSE, ticker symbol FMC
  • Ag Chem, Industrial, Specialty Chemicals.
  • #1 in carrageenan and alginate.
  • Based in Philadelphia

Red seaweed resource

Brown seaweed resource

commercial algae and uses
Commercial Algae and Uses
  • Hydrocolloids
  • Fertilizer/Plant Food
  • Human Food
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Spa/Beauty
  • Medicinal uses
  • BioFuel?

M. Indergaard (1983). The aquatic resource. I. The wild marine plants: a global bioresource. In Cote, W. A. Biomass utilization. Vol. Plenum Publishing Corporation, 137-168


commercial algae and uses1
Commercial Algae and Uses

Seaweed Industry in the Caribbean

Seaweed Industry in the Caribbean

Potential markets?

Spa/beauty product for tourisms industry (cruise ships).

Seaweed (Gracilaria or Eucheuma isiforme) for salad in Asian fusion restaurants in U.S.

Live Rock

    • Irish Moss drink
define sustainable harvest
Define Sustainable Harvest
  • Reproduction and biomass – assure future supply
  • Ecosystem – Beds continue to fulfill their role of habitat, food, competition… even with harvest.
  • Economic – cost and quality
  • Employment – how many jobs? how much income?
case study norwegian laminaria hyperborea
Case Study – Norwegian Laminariahyperborea
  • Started in 1960’s
  • Company initiated plan.
  • Based on understanding biology, ecology, substrate and ecosystem…
  • Pronova (now FMC BioPolymer) is the only harvester.
  • 5 year cycle so 5 zones.


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

case study norwegian laminaria hyperborea1
Case Study – Norwegian Laminariahyperborea
  • Government approved management plan in 2002.
  • Must stay engaged with politicians and environment/fisheries agencies.
case study chilean sarcothalia crispata
Case Study – Chilean Sarcothaliacrispata
  • When started, in 1970’s, based on collecting beach material.
  • Mature plants, completed life cycle, harvested by wave action.
  • Carrageenan yield and gel strength/viscosity were very attractive.
case study chilean sarcothalia crispata1
Case Study – Chilean Sarcothaliacrispata
  • Increased demand led to diver harvesting in 1990’s and more buyers.
  • Removing younger plants and substrate.
  • Lower carrageenan yield and extract quality.
  • Lower populations?
  • Poor post harvest handling.
  • Chile trying community based management plan.
case study australian durvillaea potatorum
Case StudyAustralian Durvillaeapotatorum
  • Kelp Industries Ltd. is only buyer.
  • Harvested as storm toss on beach.
  • Sustainable since 1976.
summary of case studies
Summary of Case Studies
  • One buyer/harvester with active harvesting (Norway).
  • Many buyers/harvesters with active harvesting (Chile).
  • One buyer/harvester with passive harvesting (Australia).
lessons from fisheries management
Lessons from Fisheries Management
  • One buyer/harvester and passive harvesting are easily sustainable.
  • Numerous buyers/harvesters with active harvesting needs good manageemnt and enforcement. How?
lessons from fisheries management1
Lessons from Fisheries Management
  • Concessions?
  • Education?
  • Buyer based management (diver protocol, fishing season)?
  • Co-Management?
  • Hatchery seeded beds and leasing production areas.
  • Quota?
  • Community based management?
  • Permits?
  • Shares?
  • Purchase right to harvest?
  • Ownership = responsibility
  • No shortcuts
  • Corruption attitude leads to shortcuts which ultimately destroy populations and ecosystems.
  • Approach can depend on level of quality governance, cultural attitudes, financial resources…
  • With limited Government resources, probably best to be self policed within biological constraints.
  • Learn from other natural resource management plans… not just seaweed.
  • Each situation is unique due to biology, culture of residents, government resources…
  • Need communication and “work in progress” attitude. No one will get all they want and not every initiative will work. But “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”