Over 70 seaweed producers, regulators and processors attended a workshop in Ennis, Co Clare (April 10), to discuss a vision for the sector.

Ireland’s seafood development agency, BIM, organised ‘Farming Seaweed in Ireland’ in response to growing interest in farmed seaweed and seaweed products, arising from recent seaweed aquaculture licence approvals.

Irish farmed seaweed, mostly Atlantic Wakame (Alaria Esculenta) is used in food, drink, cosmetics and pharma industries, currently harvested from 130ha licensed sites.

Topics included site development, grant aid and business development, as well as organic certification, seaweed drying and processing methods.

In 2014, delegates attending ‘Farmed Irish Seaweed: An Ocean Wonder Food’? heard keynote speaker Amarjit Sahota proclaim that Ireland had “high prospects” in the European market for sea vegetables, worth an estimated €24m at wholesale value.