BIM’s ‘Farming Seaweed in Ireland Workshop’ took place on April 10 in Ennis, Co Clare. 

This workshop was held in response to a growing interest in farming seaweed and in producing seaweed products (in Ireland) following seaweed aquaculture licence approvals in 2018. BIM now estimates that there are 130 ha of seaweed licensed capacity in Ireland with more coming on stream this year.

Seventy delegates including twenty speakers took part in this highly interactive and stimulating day.  The talks covered a variety of topics, designed to promote thinking and audience interaction. Topics included supports for site development and grant aid through BIM and the work of BIM’s Seafood Innovation Hub in addition to seaweed drying, processing and organic certification.  Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture, seaweed farming on Rathlin Island and the BIM Seaweed Development Programme were also described.

An industry focused session in the afternoon featured seven speakers and was aimed at teasing out issues facing the sector on the ground. This successful session provided an opportunity for delegates to express their views with the aim of devising an informed vision for the sector.

Lucy Watson, BIM and Dr Fiona Moejes, BMRS with farmed Alaria esculenta harvested from Bantry Bay.

L-R: Dr Fiona Moejes, BMRS and Lucy Watson, BIM with farmed Alaria esculenta harvested from Bantry Bay

Presentation Slides

  Session 1  CHAIR: Lucy Watson, BIM

Sites, Equipment and Layout

Presentation Slides (pdf 4,377Kb) 

Dave Millard, BIM

BIM Grant Supports

Presentation Slides (pdf 2,739Kb) 

Roisin Browne, BIM

BIM Seafood Innovation Hub / Seaweed Product Development

Presentation Slides (pdf 2,554Kb) 

Jane O’Leary, BIM

Project INTEGRATE (IMTA) and Latest Seaweed Aquaculture Developments by ISC

Presentation Slides (pdf 7,284Kb) 

Dr Anna Soler and Jessica Ratcliff, Irish Seaweed Consultancy
  Session 2 CHAIR: Dr Terence O’ Carroll, BIM

BIM Seaweed Development Programme 2018-2020

Presentation Slides (pdf 19,054Kb) 

Freddie O’ Mahony, CPS

Growing, Harvesting and Processing Kelp off the Coast of Rathlin Island

Presentation Slides (pdf 3,534Kb) 

Kate Burns, Ocean Veg Ireland Ltd

Seaweed Development at Lehanagh Pool

Presentation Slides (pdf 3,615Kb) 

Joanne Casserly MI
  Session 3 CHAIR: Dr Anna Soler, ISC

Seaweed Driers / Irish Seaweed Drying Capability

Presentation Slides (pdf 1,327Kb) 

Mairtin Walsh, BIM

Commercialization Of Seaweed Value-Added Products

Presentation Slides (pdf 2,994Kb) 

Ross Campbell, Cybercolloids

Certification Requirements For Organic Seaweed Production / Opportunities Within The Organic Seaweed Sector For Value-Added Products

Presentation Slides (pdf 2,239Kb) 

Conor Ryan, Organic Trust
  Session 4 CHAIR: Michael Mulloy, Blackshell Farm Ltd / ISA
15:30 Industry Presentations 10 minutes each plus discussion

Dr Stefan Kraan

Presentation Slides (pdf 1,847Kb) 

The Seaweed Company Blue Turtle
  David Andrews The Laughing Oyster Seaweed Co

Jerry Gallagher

Presentation Slides (pdf 1,163Kb) 


Lorraine Gallagher

Presentation Slides (pdf 993Kb) 

North West Shellfish Ltd

Dr Julie Maguire

Presentation Slides (pdf 1,800Kb) 


Michael O’ Neill

Presentation Slides (pdf 698Kb) 

Allihies Seafood Ltd

Speaker Bio's

David Millard

David Millard is BIM Regional Development Officer in the Seafood Technical Services Business Unit. He completed a joint honours degree in Marine Biology / Oceanography from UCNW, Bangor in 1990 and then undertook a post graduate masters in Aquaculture in UCC in 1994. Since then he has worked in research with UCC, with industry, first as a commercial diver/biologist and eventually as Production Manager for Gaelic Seafoods (a salmon farming company), the Inland Fisheries Board, as a private consultant, which led to his present employers where he acts as a first point of contact for aquaculture development.  David has a strong interest in seaweeds, their production, collection and uses, having set up a number of businesses in this field and he hopes to grow this aspect of his career.

Roisin Browne 

Roisin Browne is BIM Project Development Specialist in the Seafood Technical Services Business Unit. She works with clients from across all aquaculture sectors enabling them to develop projects in order to harness EU funding.

Jane O’Leary 

Jane O’Leary recently joined the team at BIM’s Seafood Innovation Hub as a Food Technologist. She has a BSc in Food Science from UCC.  She has also recently completed a Diploma in Food Manufacturing Management through the Seafood Innovation Hub (SIH). Her key roles in the SIH involve working as part of the technical project team while also being administrator of the Food Safety Management System.

Anna Soler

Anna Soler has an honors degree in Marine Science from the university of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Then she came to Ireland to undertake her PhD in NUI Galway on Seaweed nutritional analysis and their application as fish-feed ingredients. Since then she has been working on various national and European projects like Nutramara, Sudevab, Biotecmar and MAB3. In 2013, she co-funded the Irish Seaweed Consultancy (ISC), which she has been managing full time for the last 5 years. In 2017 ISC got their first EU project granted called INTEGRATE.

Jessica Ratcliff 

Jessica Ratcliff studied an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection before going to work for Marine Harvest Ireland where she cut her teeth in the Irish aquaculture industry. She joined the Irish Seaweed Research Group (ISRG) in 2007 to work on kelp aquaculture and has since continued both with the ISRG and the Irish Seaweed Consultancy, undertaking various projects to do with both wild and cultivated seaweed resources. She also works for Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch as an aquaculture analyst.

Freddie O'Mahony 

Freddie O'Mahony MSc co-founded Cartron point Shellfish Ltd. with Iarfhlaith Connellan in 1979. She has over forty years’ experience in aquaculture; including research projects, R&D and commercial operations. She has managed the BIM pilot scale macroalgal hatchery at Bantry Marine Research Station, Co. Cork since 2004

Kate Burns

Kate Burns Msc. Bsc hons, Dip CDP, is founder and Managing Director of Islander® Kelp Ltd., growing and processing kelp as a food product on Rathlin Island and is also Principal of Burns Consulting, specialising in business and natural resource planning.   In addition to running ‘Islander® Kelp’, consultancy work has included fishery management plans, rural development planning and preparing area-based strategies for 'fishing dependent communities' under the EU Axis IV Programme and rural development planning. From 2009 to April 2013 she was Director of Community Initiatives at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, establishing programmes to assist the fishing and seafood industries deal with change and become sustainable where she first came across kelp farming. Prior to 2007 Kate was Chief Executive of the cross border local authority organization ICBAN covering the north west of the island of Ireland and tasked with implementing cross border EU Programs.  Kate is on the Board of Belfast Met, the Agri-Food Research Institute for Northern Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority.

Joanne Casserly MI

Joanne is a Scientific Technical Officer in the Aquaculture Section in the Marine Institute. The section’s research is focused on the sustainable development of aquaculture and is involved with a number of local and European research projects and runs the national sea lice management programme. Joanne has been a key person in the H2020 TAPAS project, looking to improve the regulation of aquaculture in the EU and is currently working on the H2020 IMPAQT project, looking to progress the use of technology in aquaculture.

Martin Walsh

Mairtin Walsh is BIM's Business Development Officer for the western region specialising in aquaculture and seaweed

Ross Campbell

Ross Campbell has a joint honours degree in Chemistry and Management Science from Stirling University. Ross has worked for a number of different companies in various roles, including Dow Corning, 3M, Courtaulds all involving polymers for many industrial applications.  He then joined Unilever’s Quest food ingredient division to head up their food gums business unit which is now part of Kerry. Ross left Quest in 2001 and started up CyberColloids which has become a well-recognized ‘business led contract research’ company specializing in polysaccharide chemistry for food texture and nutrition.

Conor Ryan 

Conor Ryan is an Organic Aquaculture Inspector for the Organic Trust based in Westport, Co. Mayo. His role with the Organic Trust involves inspection of a broad spectrum of Organic Aquaculture operators including Organic Seaweed Harvesting and Processing Entities and Organic Rope Mussel Producers. Conor holds an MSc in Ecological Assessment and a BSc in Ocean Science. Conor has amassed considerable experience in the Irish aquaculture sector, latterly as a Marine/Ecological Consultant and formerly as a Technical Officer with Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

Stefan Kraan 

Stefan Kraan Completed his PhD on phylogenetics and aquaculture of edible seaweeds at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 1998. He was Manager of the Irish Seaweed Industry Organisation in 1998. Stefan established the Irish Seaweed Centre in 2001, a dedicated R&D centre for seaweed-based research and development, he raised over 2 million euros in research funding for applied research projects using seaweed. After managing the seaweed centre for 10 years, he resigned from University life in 2009 to pursue and develop some commercial ideas using seaweeds for a variety of purposes amongst them functional food ingredients for fish and livestock farming and novel algae cultivation systems for biofuel production. Currently Founder and Scientific Director of several companies amongst them The Seaweed Company Blue Turtle, a company dedicated to large scale seaweed cultivation for food and human health sports nutrition cosmetics and other bioactive ingredients from macro algae. Dr Kraan is President of the International Seaweed Association. His main fields of expertise are industrial applications of seaweeds/macroalgae and usage of seaweeds in animal feed, aquaculture, biotechnology and biomedicine, aquaculture of seaweeds and sustainable development of algal resources.

David Andrews 

David Andrews farms seaweed from long lines off Bere Island in Cork. He developed The Laughing Oyster seaweed seasonings company and sells product in Ireland and is looking at web sales worldwide.

Lorraine Gallagher 

Lorraine Gallagher is a registered nutritionist. While studying a degree in biochemistry and human nutrition, Lorraine discovered the myriad nutritional benefits of seaweed. Lorraine then applied for a licence to grow seaweed in Mulroy Bay Co.Donegal where she grew up and spent all of her childhood.

Lorraine has a Post Grad in Business Management and Marketing from Queens University Belfast.

Jerry Gallagher 

Jerry Gallagher has a lifetime in fishing and aquaculture production while at the same time managing the family farm. He founded North West Shellfish in 1992 with a view to producing scallops in aquaculture sites in mulroy bay.  He has been Chairman of the Irish Shellfish Association for 12 of the past 20 years and he is currently Chair of FLAG North and North Regional Inshore Fisheries Forum.

Julie Maguire 

Julie Maguire has been the Director of the Bantry Marine Research Station since 2005. The central theme to her research has related to molluscan aquaculture and fisheries with particular reference to stress and husbandry. She was awarded a PhD from UCC in 1998 (on scallops) and has also worked at IFREMER in France and SEAFISH in Scotland.  BMRS have been seaweed farming in Bantry Bay since 2014.

Michael O’Neill

Michael O’Neill, Allihies Seafood Ltd has 30 years involvement in the marine sector, with the last 18 years involved in Abalone Aquaculture and by default, the seaweed Industry. Allihies Seafood has, last year, received 2 licences for 40 Ha of production sites in the Berehaven sound, and also has 20,000 square foot land-based hatchery facility. Allihies Seafood Ltd is the lead partner in a €2.6 million DTIF research project, alongside UL, UU and the Carbery group, focusing on Palmaria palmata.

Contact Us

Lucy Watson
Direct: +353 1 2144288
Mobile: +353 87 2691149