Marine Seaweed Prospection

Prospection of cast seaweeds in beaches of Sucre and Córdoba, Colombian Caribbean 2021

Colombia is a country with high biodiversity of marine algae mainly in the Caribbean sea. With a proximate richness of 565 species in this region, the utilization of these resources has been limited by the scarce knowledge about their potential application in the food, health, and pharmaceutical industries.

Globally, the utilization of seaweeds is a growing industry owing to the variety of products and applications these organisms have to offer. The total annual value of seaweed production in the world is proximate to US$ 6 billion from which 85 % correspond to food products for human consumption.

In coastal areas of Colombia it is possible to find cast seaweeds in different seasons of the year. This material is lost even though its availability and sometimes great abundance. To evaluate potential seaweeds within the bioeconomy goals of the country, MoAm in association with a private investor initiated a prospection process through the following activities:

  • Location of beaches with seaweed presence and frequent cast events
  • Taxonomic evaluation of cast seaweeds and literature review of their potential use
  • Proximal analysis of protein, ash, humidity, and lipidic profiles of selected seaweeds