Seaweed Development

Project Scope

Since 2008 BIM has worked on the development of the Irish farmed seaweed sector to include the leasing of a licensed marine hatchery and the funding of the production of seeded collector string (brown weeds Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima) for deployment at licensed marine seaweed sites. 


More recently we have looked at the production of red weeds (Porphyra umbilicalis and Palmaria palmata) in the hatchery both by manipulation of sexual and asexual plants (Porphyra) and by vegetative tank culture (Palmaria) to increase production.  The hatchery has supplied to the licensed sea sites on an annual basis and this demand is set to rise as more seaweed licenses are issued.


The Seaweed Development Programme 2019 aims to produce 10 kms seeded collector string plus culture to seed 40 kms string for Alaria.  

In addition, work is to be carried out on the above named red weeds. Investigative field work started in February 2019 to identify, locate and map asexual Porphyra umbilicalis plants. Neutral spore release was enabled with settlement on nets for culture at sea. Work on sexual plants was carried out to initiate sporulation and development of the conchocelis stage of the life cycle. Palmaria palmata was vegetatively grown in tanks to ascertain optimal growth conditions.


Budget Budget

Maximum approved expenditure on the project totaled €201,000 corresponding to the following headings:


Achievements / Spend


Summary of Spend

Total Approved
Total Eligible Expenditure €201,000
Total Drawdown €201,000
EU – 100% €201,000
Exchequer – 0%


Report:  Lucy Watson

Date:  20 May 2020