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Cultivation of red seaweeds: a Latin American perspective

Abstract

The Latin American seaweed industry plays an important role at a global scale as 17 % of all seaweeds and 37 % of red seaweeds for the phycocolloid industry comes from this region. Increased market demand for algal raw materials has stimulated research and development into new cultivation technologies, particularly in those countries with economically important seaweed industries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, México, and Peru. The marine area of Latin America includes almost 59,591 km2 of coastline ranging in latitude from 30ºN to 55ºS and encompasses four different oceanic domains: Temperate Northern Pacific, Tropical Eastern Pacific, Temperate South America, and Tropical Atlantic. Commercial cultivation of red seaweed in Latin America has been basically centered in the production of Gracilaria chilensis in Chile. Attempts have been made to establish seaweed commercial cultivation in other countries, going from experimental research-oriented studies to pilot community/enterprise based cultivation trials. Some genera such as Kappaphycus and Eucheuma have been studied in Brazil and Mexico, Gracilaria species in Argentina and Brazil, Gracilariopsis in Peru and Venezuela, and Chondracanthus chamissoi in Peru and Chile. In this short review, we address the Latin America perspective on the status and future progress for the cultivation of red seaweeds and their sustainable commercial development, and discuss on the main common problems. Particular emphasis is given to the needs for comprehensive knowledge necessary for the management and cultivation of some of the most valuable red seaweed resources in Latin America.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Brazilian National Council for Research and Technology Development (CNPq) for traveling costs of Dr. Leila Hayashi. This paper was presented in the 21st ISS Mini-Symposium “Cultivation of tropical Red Seaweeds” held in Bali, Indonesia, in April 2013 and organized by A. Hurtado.

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Correspondence to Daniel Robledo.

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Hayashi, L., Bulboa, C., Kradolfer, P. et al. Cultivation of red seaweeds: a Latin American perspective. J Appl Phycol 26, 719–727 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-013-0143-z

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Keywords

  • Chondracanthus
  • Gigartina
  • Gracilaria
  • Kappaphycus
  • Latin America
  • Seaweed cultivation