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Development of Methodologies for Assessment of Ireland’s Seaweed Resource

Project Outputs

Through the on-going marine planning process, the Irish Government identified that the sustainability of seaweed natural resources underpins the licensing regime for seaweed harvesting. The aim of this project is to develop a better understanding of the Irish seaweed resource around the Irish coastline, which will contribute to a biomass assessment for certain types of seaweed.
Ascophyllum Nodosum is the primary species harvested. It grows on rocky surfaces near the seashore and is harvested by hand at low tide. Small amounts of other species are also harvested.

Project Status: 
Project Outputs: 

1. A scalable survey methodology for seaweed resource assessment;
2. Completed hyperspectral and acoustic studies of seaweed resource;
3.Completed multi-site biological sampling and identification of seaweed resource;
4. Broadscale site specific seaweed species & coverage distribution;
5. Spatial data products and maps demonstrating the seaweed resource in Ireland.

Expected Benefit: 
This project will develop standard methodologies for assessing the seaweed resource around the Irish coastline, incorporating refinement of existing resource assessment approaches, data analytics methodologies to extract relevant information from existing data resources, and new scalable survey approaches. In certain areas, seaweed extraction is a source of public concern; this project will address these concerns by providing robust science to inform stakeholders. It will generate baseline field information towards addressing gaps in governance knowledge. Thus, project outcomes will be useful to support licensing decisions for seaweed extraction and monitoring of future harvesting.
Project Cost - Projected: 
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