Baltic Seaweed Biosafety Baltic Sea Safe (BSS)

BALTIC SEA AREA
SEAWEED STATUS
9
COUNTRIES
112
COMPANIES
52
RESEARCH INSTITUTES
5
COMMERCIAL FARMS DE | DK | SE

ABOUT


PROJECT DURATION
January 2022 - April 2023


MAIN CHALLENGES

Sustainable blue economy - and blue bioeconomy – is the recently defined strategic direction of development for the seas and oceans of the European Union. Baltic Sea is not an exception, and considering the continuously decreasing fish stocks, it is quite obvious that traditional use of marine resources needs a sustainable lifting. The cultivation of low trophic species, like local mussels and seaweeds present untapped opportunities in the Baltic Sea area. In addition to biomass production, these organisms would counteract eutrophication by either taking up inorganic nutrients (seaweed) or removing plankton (mussels). Eutrophication is a serious environmental problem in the Baltic Sea and the removal of excessive nutrients by low trophic level cultivation protect against biodiversity loss and oxygen deficiency.

During the last ten years, the issues of mussel cultivation in the Baltic Sea have been tackled in more than 20 national and regional research projects, while seaweeds have received much less attention. However, projects like GRASS (Interreg BSR), FucoSan (Interreg DE-DK), TANG.NU (VILLUM/VELUX FOUNDATION), Seafarm (SE FORMAS), and SUSKULT (NCM) have recently contributed to various aspects of growing seaweeds and algae sustainably, but further steps are necessary to lift the cultivation of marine plants from an experimental to an industrial level. With this project we aim to tackle the most important issues to facilitate the development, addressing environmental safety – as we cannot afford to add one more stressor upon already degraded “environmental status” of the Baltic Sea.


AIM OF THE PROJECT

BalticSeaSafe project aims for creating a well justified guidance, resulting in recommendations and position papers on environmental monitoring and license conditions for cultivation of seaweed in the Baltic Sea with regard to environmental safety. The work is building on the work of Baltic GRASS project and its recommendation for future actions.


OUTCOMES

BalticSeaSafe will raise awareness on environmental benefits and risks of algae cultivation in the Baltic Sea region, especially in matters of biohazard. In the last 10 years, Baltic Sea Region actors incl. politicians, authorities, entrepreneurs, consumers are very much preoccupied with eutrophication and future measures to improve environmental status of the Baltic Sea. Although seaweed has a very green and safe image, it is important to secure that the assumptions are valid and build on fact-checked decision making. In the next 5 years, direction of the search will develop expectations and a vision for algae sector in the region and thereby bullet-proofing algae benefits, incl. at scale, is an important milestone on the way to the market.

BalticSeaSafe will also build capacities among policy makers in suggesting a fair unified and coherent licensing regulation reflecting the real risks and also industry’s needs. Currently, licensing for setting up new farms is an important barrier for algae investors and entrepreneurs. A new standardised licensing process can effectively unlock investments in algae, by including algae in the maritime spatial plans and allocating areas suitable for algae farming, and also develop a process that is robust, fair, functional and effective.


OUTPUTS
18. MAY 2022
 WORKSHOP I

The 1st workshop will focus at the most important environmental risks and biohazards related to the up-scaling of seaweed farming specifically for the Baltic Sea. A preliminary working paper will be provided to the workshop participants ahead f the workshop in due time, to facilitate and mainstream the discussion.

The workshop participants will be representatives of academia, consultancies, NGOs, environmental authorities and seaweed farmers as well as other entrepreneurs interested in seaweed.


SEPTEMBER 2022
 REPORT I

A report with recommendations for necessary data collection and monitoring practices at the seaweed farms. Contribution to monitoring strategies – environmental policy


NOVEMBER  2022
 WORKSHOP II

The 2nd workshop will focus on the regulatory issues for seaweed cultivation in the Baltic Sea, especially on licensing procedures and permit requirements. The results of the first workshop will feed into a preliminary second working document prepared and distributed to the participants before the workshop. The workshop participants will include environmental researchers, permit-issuing authorities, ministries, maritime spatial planning experts, legal scholars, and farmers.


MARCH  2023
REPORT II

The 2nd workshop will focus on the regulatory issues for seaweed cultivation in the Baltic Sea, especially on licensing procedures and permit requirements. The results of the first workshop will feed into a preliminary second working document prepared and distributed to the participants before the workshop. The workshop participants will include environmental researchers, permit-issuing authorities, ministries, maritime spatial planning experts, legal scholars, and farmers.


POSITION PAPER

A position paper on necessary adaptations in environmental legislation. Contribution to environmental legislation aspects - environmental policy


CONTACT PERSON

Efthalia Arvaniti, PhD
Programme Manager
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EUSBSR

SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth EEIG

Kärntener Str. 20
DE–10827 Berlin

Germany

+4930832141740

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