The GRASS project participated in the EU Seaweed Strategy webinar
Seaweed is gaining attention in Europe for developing solutions for food and food products, as well as providing ecosystem services, supporting many strategies, such as the Food from the Ocean and Blue Growth and more holistically the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Farm to Fork, and EU Green Deal strategies. With the momentum increasing in the media, the EU Commission identified that a dedicated EU seaweed strategy is needed.
In this light, the North Sea Farm and Bert Groenendaal, took the challenge and organised a web-based stakeholder event discussing technological, market and legislative barriers and the way forward.
The event that was organised on 11. June, set the scene first by presenting the new EU Green Deal with a seaweed lens, and then by setting the seaweed experts perspectives from state of play within four major European seas, including the Baltic Sea.
Tomasz Kulikowski of NMFRI, member of the SUBMARINER Network and partner in the GRASS project (2019-2021, co-funded by Interreg BSR) was among the speakers. Tomasz presented seaweed’s state of play in the Baltic and also presented the main findings of the project so far. Barriers related to lack or complicated regulations, associated with licensing, were on the top of his list, although he touched upon issues related to environmental limitations and a lack of understanding of the sector and its impacts by various groups.
His presentation can be found here
Following his talk and other talks among regional experts, there was an interactive discussion panel with Felix Leinemann, Head of Unit Blue Economy Sectors, Aquaculture and Maritime Spatial Planning European Commission, Vincent Doumeizel, Director Food programme Lloyds Register Foundation, and Olavur Gregersen, Managing Director Ocean Rainforest. Each of the three panellists presented their views in policy, product regulation and market respectively.
Throughout the 2,5 hours, several opinion polls and open questions were addressed to the audience alongside the main programme, thus capturing stakeholders views and roles, while a live public/private chat function had a separate life as well.
Organisers plan to present the results of the webinar and a first draft version of the EU seaweed strategy at the online seaweed conference Seagriculture on 24-25 September.
Find all the presentations here
Banner copy right: University of Tartu.