Good Practice Project
Latvian FLAGs teamed up in a cooperation project to finance a study aimed at assessing the seaweed production potential from Latvian waters along with options for a management plan that would ensure a sustainable exploitation of this resource.
In Latvia, there is no seaweed industry, despite the fact that seaweed is abundant in many of its coastal areas, so much so that it can become a nuisance for the tourism industry when washed up in large quantities on the beaches. Strong interest is developing among local entrepreneurs and fishermen in harvesting wild algae but information on the types of seaweed encountered is lacking, as is any legislation to determine how this resource might be exploited. National environmental bodies, local authorities, entrepreneurs, the tourism industry and local coastal residents highlighted the need to look for a common solution to this challenge and establish clear parameters at national level for commercialising seaweed.
To fill this information and legal vacuum, the six Latvian FLAGs decided to cooperate to support the much-needed research in the field and develop an assessment and management plan for seaweed, with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders.
The project aims on the one hand to help entrepreneurs grasp the opportunities presented by the presence of seaweed and, on the other hand, to provide thorough scientific information for a legal framework to sustainably harvest this resource.
The project will be led by a renowned Latvian research institute and involves several activities from data gathering, analysis of the information and laboratory testing, to the development of tools, maps and guidance for end users. The results will be presented to all FLAGs and relevant stakeholders in a series of workshops and meetings.
The project is still in an early phase and the results of the research and conclusions are expected to be made public by May 2019. One of the main expected results will be the setting up of a public database of Latvia’s seaweed: the different types, their specificities, potential uses, guidance for business development (for local entrepreneurs) and mapping of the resource (for local authorities) together with environmental advice and monitoring. The results of the project will also contribute to defining the legal framework and set in place the system for the commercial and non-commercial use of seaweed along the Latvian coast.
Seaweed is a common resource in many FLAG areas and the project concept is directly transferable to areas with under-utilised natural resources and a lack of legal framework for them. The process itself (cooperation between FLAGs and linking local entrepreneurs, public authorities and research institutes) can be applied to many areas be it in the field of seaweed or other innovative uses of fisheries and aquaculture products.
Six Latvian FLAGs
|Total project cost||€50 000|
|Timeframe of implementation||From Mar 2018 to Mar 2019|
|Type of area|