Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Short Story

Seaweed collection to fertilise local fields

In the Vigo-A Guarda FLAG area, shellfish gatherers are working with local wine producers and a forestry association to turn seaweed - once a nuisance to their activity - into a valuable and sustainable resource: quality compost.
This project has improved the working conditions of seafaring labour through mechanisation. It also provided an opportunity for a variety of local stakeholders to cooperate in the transformation of unvalued, raw material into an eco-friendly solution for local farmers, creating a potential new income source for local shellfish and wine producers
José González Martínez, Vilaboa Fishers´ Association secretary

Cooperation among different sectors can strengthen the resilience of a local economy and optimise the use of natural resources. Building on a previous project to remove seaweed from the beaches which would otherwise smother shellfish resources, the Xesalcomp project aims to improve the way the seaweed is composted. This is being achieved by introducing new organic materials (organic waste from wine producers) to the process to improve the quality and agronomic value of the final compost. The ultimate goal is to obtain a quality and sustainable product that can be successfully marketed.

In the past, shellfish gatherers removed the seaweed from their shellfish banks, and piled it up to be used by local farmers as compost. But the lack of quality meant use gradually decreased, and it was left to accumulate, causing environmental problems such as smell and runoff.

As well as mobilising local wine producers and a forestry association, the project also involved the town council and the University of Vigo. The university carried out the analysis needed to achieve the best quality product. The council provided containers, transport and equipment to manage the compost heaps, as well as the land on which to carry out this compost management.


Budget €32 807
EU contribution €26 492
  • EMFF: €26 492
Other public contribution €4 675
  • Regional: €4 675
Private contribution €1 640

Contact details

FLAG Contacts

Ms. María Elena Herbello Puentes
+34 986 35 81 09
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