BEC-53806 Sustainable Seaweed Chains


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work3
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. M van der Voort
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MCM Mourits
dr. ir. FJHM Verhees
dr. ir. SWK van den Burg
dr. M van der Voort
Examiner(s)dr. M van der Voort

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Seaweed Biology and Cultivation


Since 1995 the amount of seaweed produced increased intensively. Production of seaweed is dominated by countries like Indonesia, China and the Philippines. The majority of the harvested and cultured seaweed is consumed as food by humans, but seaweed is also used for the production of green chemicals, bioenergy and feed for animals. The interest in the production of seaweed in the Northern hemisphere has grown in recent years. Reasons for this increase in popularity is that moving production offshore eliminates competition for land use, the exhaustion of soil nutrients and the loss of natural forest. Seaweeds are also promoted as a solution to global food security and experts foresee that seaweed farming may one day play a leading role in the food supply chain.
The aim of this course is to provide you with methods to analyse the socio-economic and environmental sustainability of the seaweed chain. Basic marketing concept as well as economic methods and principles to determine the economic feasibility of seaweed production chain will be emphasized. Additionally, the course lays-out the current socio-economic situation of seaweed production in the world, provides you with insights in the opportunities and challenges of seaweed production in the North Sea, and presents application fields of seaweed products.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- use and interpret some basic techniques to assess the ecological, social, and economic sustainability of seaweed production chains;
- understand the inevitable trade-offs between sustainable outcomes and between chain actors in the design of a sustainable chain;
- identify the key technical, social and economic bottlenecks in the development of sustainable seaweed chains, given the current state of knowledge;
- produce an advice on the future development of sustainable seaweed chains.


Lectures, tutorials, practicals and group work activities (case study).


Final grading is based on an individual written exam (90%) and on group work assignments (10%). 
For both elements a minimum pass mark of 5.5 is required.
The grade for the group work is valid for 2 years.


Documentation will be available at the start of the course and provided in Brightspace.

Compulsory for: WUSEABSc Minor Seagriculture2MO