EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Ethical recommendations for Sustainable development of algae aquaculture.

Michele Barbier1 and Bénédicte Charrier2
Michele Barbier and Bénédicte Charrier
  • 1Institute for Science & Ethics, Ethics, Nice, France (
  • 2Station Biologique, CNRS-Sorbonne University, Roscoff, France

Macroalgae, also called seaweed, play a key ecological role in coastal ecosystems and can be used for a variety of applications, including food, health products, cosmetics, agriculture and environmental management. Well-developed in Asia, the seaweed aquaculture is also a growing economic sector in Europe that can contribute to a sustainable circular bioeconomy. However, this sector lacks specific legislation to regulate its development. To ensure the environmental and economic sustainability of this sector, a group of experts has designed the European guidelines for sustainable development of seaweed aquaculture, PEGASUS, in a participatory and co-designed manner. The scientific, technical, environmental, legal and socio-economic dimensions have been taken into account to anticipate any potential risks associated with aquaculture development. Combining the expertise of SMEs and researchers, these guidelines have been published and presented to the European Parliament to help all stakeholders in the sector to understand the different aspects of seaweed aquaculture. All actors in the sector, such as farmers, suppliers, users, researchers and decision-makers, should establish a collaborative network along the value chain to guide strategic development plans and ensure environmental sustainability.

Ethical recommendations extracted and inspired from this work for better governance and preservation of the marine environment will be presented

How to cite: Barbier, M. and Charrier, B.: Ethical recommendations for Sustainable development of algae aquaculture., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2460,, 2020


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displays version 1 – uploaded on 30 Apr 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-2460, Jan Boon (deceased), 30 Apr 2020

    While I know very little about seaweeds, I found the slides very interesting. If I understand it correctly, you aim to increase European particcipation in seaweed production (and associated products) and markets. I would be curious to know how one woukd go about that. Whci politiicians to approach, how to gain public support, how to interest fianciers etc. Would you be able to say something about this?

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Michele Barbier, 07 May 2020

      Dear Jon,


      Thanks for your comments. Indeed it is not an easy task to develop this sector. Different parties apply: - politician for defining strategy

      - policymakers for changing the regulation

      - investors to develop the business

      - farmers as a new option for agriculture/aquaculture

      - the society and the potential consumers

      This work has been presented at the European Parliament last year which provided already some interesting feedback. But not enought. I have been recently contacted by a powerful private Foundation to support this sector, worlwide. It seems that more interest are raised nowadays and worlwide regarding this resource. 

      • CC4: Reply to AC1, Jan Boon (deceased), 08 May 2020

        I wish ypu success!

  • CC2: Comment on EGU2020-2460, Martin Bohle, 02 May 2020

    Thank you for describing the current state of European seaweed production and related challenges. I am curious to learn about lessons that could be drawn for other (new/expanding) activities to exploit marine living resources. 

    • AC2: Reply to CC2, Michele Barbier, 07 May 2020

      Dear Martin,

      The new options propsoed are as follows:

      - better governance regading the exploitation of a resources based on exchange between policymakers, farmers, scientists to develop this sector in harmony with the environment and for an economy

      - regarding marine resources, use local, think global. Whatever the resource is exploited, no alein species should be introduced to an environment

      - industries, farmers and scientists should better cooperate to avoid long term impact (loss of biodiversity), to improve the field (with technics, new knowledge, etc)

      - the development of a sector cannot be done without an adapted regulation, which is missing or sometime too old to be accurate. This is a real challenge for the industry

      - harmonisation of technics and regulations between countries to ensure the quality, specifically regarding food

      - involve the society in exploiting marine resources and develop an ethical marketing to encourage the consumption of marine resources with transparency and clarity

  • CC3: Comment on EGU2020-2460, Giuseppe Di Capua, 06 May 2020

    Thank you Michele for your contribution.

    I agree with Martin Bohle's comments about how this work could give inputs to regulate, even from an ethical perspective, other activities impacting marine resources. 

    • AC3: Reply to CC3, Michele Barbier, 07 May 2020

      Indeed, the appraoch developed here was based on co-designed work based on reflection of diferent sectors (scientists and industry), althought it was not exhasutive. The presentation at the Euiropean parliament gave some visibility and seems to contribute to the knowledge about seaweeds. The entitities responisble for regulation in EU were present but this was not enought. This approach has to come from the EU memeber states, at the politicial level to be discussed in Brussels.

      What is important is the consideration of all the dimension: preservation of the environment, economic development, technological development, involvement and engagement of the politicians and sensibilisation of the society. The first parts have been well developped but more need to be done regarding the politics and the society.

  • AC4: Comment on EGU2020-2460, Michele Barbier, 07 May 2020

    Sorry, I cannot connect to the chat, it is not working...