E-Learning Course Overview

Sustainable Seaweed Farming Practices: Course Introduction

This course introduces participants to the latest research connected to best practices for sustainable seaweed farming.

The course addresses the environmental benefits and risks of seaweed farming, suggesting good practices to ensure a sustainable growth of the seaweed farming industry. Core topics will cover key sustainable practices such as: monitoring and cultivation protocols; ecosystem services valuation; advanced methods for breeding seaweeds; and seaweeds and society.

Before commencing the course, we recommend first watching the GENIALG promotional video for seaweed biorefinery:

This course has been developed by the GENIALG project as part of Work Package 7: Dissemination, Stakeholder Engagement, Knowledge Transfer, Outreach Capacity Building. The coordinators of the course are CIIMAR and AquaTT with module contributions from CIIMAR, CNRS, C-Weed Aquaculture, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, NUI Galway, AquaTT, SAMS and Seaweed Solutions.

The course is completely free of charge.

Target audience

This course is aimed at people with a professional or personal interest in seaweed farming. Key target audiences for the course include students, current practitioners within the seaweed industry and people interested in entering the seaweed industry. The course is also relevant to policy makers tasked with planning and implementing future legislation on control and impact assessments for seaweed farms.

If any of the following descriptions apply, this is the right course for you!

  • Third level teachers and students – interested in using the material for teaching key principles of sustainable seaweed farming practices or for self-directed learning for students
  • Seaweed farmers – interested in improving and/or expanding their farming activities
  • Seaweed breeders – interested in optimising breeding and growing conditions for increased production
  • Seaweed entrepreneurs – professionals thinking of getting into the seaweed business or those who want to improve/expand their sustainable practices
  • Anyone with an interest in sustainable seaweed farming!

Course content

This course is divided into four modules, representing an approximate total of 20 hours of learning.

Module content includes PowerPoint presentations of lessons, videos, recommended reading and references to articles, books, reports etc.

Modules begin with a short introduction containing practical information and learning objectives. This is followed by lessons with specific content and recommended readings related to the module. Each module ends with a quiz for a self-assessment of your learning.

Summary of Modules:

Module 1: Seaweed Cultivation and Monitoring Protocols

Seaweeds are extremely diverse. In addition to their ecological relevance, there is an increasing industrial use of seaweed. In this module, you will learn about the main farmed seaweed, related principles and associated problems. You will acquire knowledge about the main techniques for seaweed farming, species and the variation in productivity. Additionally, you will learn about a seaweed farm’s associated biodiversity and how to measure the effects and provision of additional services of a seaweed farm on the ecosystem and its biodiversity.

Module 2: Ecosystem Services of Seaweed Farming

In addition to seaweed farming generating valuable biomass and contributing to economic activity, growing seaweed and its associated infrastructure also provides valuable socio-environmental benefits. This module demonstrates the ecosystem services valuation methodology and how to incorporate it into policy and decision making.

Module 3: Advanced Methods of Breeding Seaweeds

This module provides guidelines to improve seaweed breeding programmes, by demonstrating how to optimise breeding and growing conditions for various seaweed species leading to greater production.

Module 4: Seaweeds and Society

This module introduces the social theory of aquaculture-society relationships and the practice of gaining social license to operate (SLO) with some practical examples from GENIALG.

When can I take the course?

Any time! Content for all modules will be made available on this webpage

The course has been designed to be taken both online and offline. All resources are available for download so that you can take the course at a time and pace that suits you.

While modules are available in isolation, we recommend that you follow each module in sequence to gain the most complete learning experience.

What are the expected outcomes from this course?

  • Improved knowledge and understanding of sustainable seaweed farming and its implications for science, policy, industry and society;
  • Practical knowledge about seaweed breeding and how to increase production/cost efficiency;
  • Knowledge and skills for entrepreneurs interested in creating or improving their own seaweed business;
  • Boost the seaweed industry in Europe to meet rising market demand for existing and new applications while ensuring environmental sustainability.