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Irish Sea Fisheries Board to Host Farmed Seaweed Conference

28 August 2014

IRELAND - Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board has announced that its conference “Farmed Irish Seaweed: An Ocean Wonder Food?” will take place on 18 November 2014 with a post-conference interactive forum on 19 November at The Radisson Blu Hotel, Limerick.

The conference's line-up of national and international speakers and commentators from the science and food conference circuit will explore Ireland's potential to farm seaweed for the Irish and global seafood market.

Keynote speaker Amarjit Sahota, will deliver key findings from BIM-commissioned research into Ireland's potential to develop farmed seaweed as a mainstream farming diversification/food production option for supply into selected EU markets. Sahota is the founder/ director of Organic Monitor, a specialist UK market research, consulting & training firm focussing on the global organic & related niche product industries.

The latest scientific advice from leading seaweed academics and specialists on how Ireland might best farm seaweed crops for human consumption will be led by Professor Susan Brawley, professor of Botany at the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, USA and a world renowned expert on the cultivation of sea vegetables.

Dr Helena Abreu, research and development director of Algaplus, the Portuguese-based pioneer in the production of marine macroalgae (marine vegetables) will address the conference session on market-led expert opinion from food production specialists on the development of innovative farmed seaweed-based food products for the global seafood market.

The conference programme will also feature an investment session for potential investors and will look at recent trends in the global farmed seaweed commodities market.

A key conference offering will be “Routes to Farming Seaweed”, a BIM-led information session on how Ireland's seafood development agency can guide and assist delegates to grow their farmed seaweed business from start-up or into the next stage of development.

Donal Maguire, BIM's Aquaculture Development Services Director said: “Through initiatives like the forthcoming conference and forum BIM is working to raise awareness of and encourage inward investment into Ireland's emerging farmed seaweed sector.

“BIM has led a number of technological breakthroughs in seaweed culture techniques and as a result, Ireland's high value seaweed species such as Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima among others can now be reliably cultured in large volumes around our shores. In addition, ground breaking culture techniques are under investigation for Porphyra and Palmaria. These highly nutritious and very valuable species have the potential to bring unprecedented growth and development to Ireland's seaweed farming activities. This new scale of development should provide an alternative source of farmed raw material from which Ireland can eventually produce a wide range of seaweed-based foods for human consumption that should be traded competitively in EU markets where the nutritional benefits of eating seaweed are gaining solid and increasing recognition.”

This event should be of interest to people employed in Ireland's seafood sector interested in starting or continuing to farm and produce seaweed for national and global food markets, farmers interested in receiving the latest cutting edge market intelligence on seaweed consumed in the EU, national and international academics and researchers working in the seaweed or related area of maritime farming,food companies seeking new product development opportunities for farmed seaweed-based food products and investors looking for the ”newest thing” in Ireland's seafood sector.

Early booking for the conference is advised and from today qualifies for the Early Bird conference rate. BIM looks forward to seeing you at the conference. 

TheFishSite News Desk

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