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European and National Regulations on Seaweed Cultivation and Harvesting

In Europe, seaweed aquaculture is still at an early stage. The same applies to the legislation of this activity. The EU and individual European countries lack seaweed-specific legislation, apart from the EU rules on organic seaweed.

Organic seaweed hasits own regulatory category. The Commission Regulation 2009/710/EC lays down
detailed rules on organic seaweed production. The Regulation on Organic Production 2018/848/EU on
organic production and labelling of organic products applies, defining the production rules for algae,
including harvesting of natural stocks as well as their cultivation (Part III: Production rules for algae
and aquaculture animals, 2. Requirements for algae). The collection of wild algae and parts thereof is
considered as organic production provided a) the growing areas are suitable from a health point of
view and are of high ecological status as defined by Directive 2000/60/EC and b) the collection does
not affect significantly the stability of the natural ecosystem or the maintenance of the species in the
collection area. Furthermore, the amounts collected do not cause a significant impact on the state of
the aquatic environment. Organic algae aquaculture at sea shall only utilize nutrients naturally
occurring in the environment, or from organic aquaculture animal production, preferably located
nearby as part of an Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) system. Culture density or
operational intensity shall be recorded and shall maintain the integrity of the aquatic environment by
ensuring that the maximum quantity of algae which can be supported without negative effects on the
environment is not exceeded. Ropes and other equipment used for growing algae shall be re-used or
recycled where possible.

Read the full publication here.

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