The third SEAREFINERY Project meeting was recently held at the National Maritime College of Ireland, Ringaskiddy, Cork, Ireland and was hosted by local partners CIT and CyberColloids. The meeting was held over two days with the second day dedicated to a workshop involving participants from the Irish Seaweed industry and those interested in developing the seaweed industry, including cultivators, harvesters and producers of seaweed products.
The workshop was split into a morning session that covered aspects of seaweed cultivation in Ireland and elsewhere. Bert Groenendaal, from project partner SIOEN, presented the SEAREFINERY approach to the cultivation of key species Saccharina latissima and Alaria esculenta. The Irish perspective was provided by Lucy Watson from Bord Iascaigh Mhara. By way of providing some contrast, Kevin Philip from CyberColloids gave an overview of a recent tour of the Indonesian carrageenan industry. The session closed with a presentation from Mark White of the Irish Marine Development Team who focussed on the challenges faced and opportunities to be taken in building a thriving Irish Marine Industry.
The afternoon session focussed on the concept of the seaweed biorefinery and was introduced by Project Coordinator, Wolfgang Stelte who gave an overview of four current European seaweed biorefinery projects (including SEAREFINERY). Ross Campbell of CyberColloids gave an interesting account of an experimental seaweed factory in Russia that is utilising several product streams from local kelp species. The rest of the session was dedicated to project partners who presented the state of the art regarding key end use applications/sectors for the SEAREFINERY outputs i.e.antioxidants (Rùosa Jonsdottir, Marinox), novel textiles, packaging and plastics (David De Smet, Centexbel), food texture ingredients from seaweed (Sarah Hotchkiss, CyberColloids) and marine bioactives from Saccharina latissima (Orlaith O'Connell, CIT).
Presentations from the workshop are available for download from the following link: