Learning to discuss safety within the European seaweed aquaculture sector

S.W.K. van den Burg, S. J. I. Koch, J.L. Banach, Y. Hoffmans, L. van Hoof, R.W. Nauta, R.G. Jak, Eva Makri, Emma Wadsworth, S. Post, K. Kristensen

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    Seaweed is seen as a promising future source of biomass, and significant efforts are taken to upscale seaweed aquaculture production in Europe. Despite regulatory frameworks for food safety, environmental safety, and occupational health and safety applicable to seaweed production, a major barrier to upscaling production is the lack of commonly accepted, uniform frameworks for safety assessment. As a consequence, efforts to deal with food safety, environmental safety, and occupational health and safety are fragmented. Based on a literature review and consultations with stakeholders, this paper introduces a generic protocol on how to approach safety of the production of seaweed. A prototype version of the generic protocol was evaluated in a practical setting in Norway. Results show that a consistent, structured approach to safety makes it possible to identify hazards and prioritize and collect data on key hazards. The protocol facilitated a sector discussion on safety, providing a shared discourse to talk about safety. It must be acknowledged that the farming and processing practices and the location of cultivation strongly influence which hazards are most relevant. The protocol succeeded in bringing focus to data collection, putting effort into the analysis of hazards considered most relevant in a practical setting.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAquaculture International
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2023

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