Growing Algae Sustainably in the Baltic Sea: the Grass Project's activities
Macroalgae production is an upcoming sector for growing biomass for producing food, consumables such as plastics and energy without competing for arable land, depleting fresh water and using non-renewable fertiliser. However, the sector is still in its infancy in the Baltic Sea Region and there is a lack of in-depth and wide-spread knowledge on the potential benefitsof macroalgae production. To deal with this challenge, GRASS aims to raise awareness and build capacity on macroalgae cultivation, harvesting and use among public authorities and other relevant stakeholders across the region. Public authorities, ministries, planning regions and counties play a crucial role in promoting macroalgae as they are the main legislative bodies that also control much of national and regional funding.
Project activities will be implemented within three work packages that run parallel and feed into each other, covering environmental, regulatory and socio-economic aspects of macroalgae production in the BSR, including:
- Assessing the potential and implications of macroalgae cultivation and harvesting in the BSR by collecting and analysing environmental data, identifying suitable sites and efficient production methods
- looking at current gaps in legislation and regulation to unlock the potential of sustainable production and use of macroalgae (e.g. food), through knowledge transfer activities and guiding materials for PAs
- highlighting the socio-economic benefits and opportunities of macroalgae cultivation, harvesting and use in different regions in the BSR, and developing a decision support tool for macroalgae production.
The activities will be supported by:
- extensive stakeholder involvement through regional dialogue meetings,
- three transnational Working Groups operating across the WPs to analyse complex transnational issues and
- a transnational conference to bring together and transfer knowledge among relevant stakeholders in the Baltic Sea regions.
Through raising awareness, capacity building among PAs, GRASS will result in a demand for macroalgae and unlock the potential of macroalgae production and application sectors in the Baltic Sea Region, thus contributing to the Programme objective of increasing resource-efficient Blue Growth.