According to the results of a year long study, Ireland's £6,000,000 a year seaweed industry could have a value of up to eight times as much.
The National Seaweed Forum was presented by Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources Frank Fahey with a report in Galway. The findings show that what is often considered a ‘nuisance weed’ of the coastal regions could be used in everything from gardening products to shower gel.
Doctor Henry Lyons, Chairman of the Seaweed Research Forum, believes the future for the industry lies in value added products. The industry could also be of significant benefit to coastal regions given the difficulties facing the fishing industry.
The Chairperson of the Seaweed Industry Organisation Kaye Mulrooney thinks the industry could be worth £15 million to the economy. However in order for it to reach its full potential, resources and money are needed.
A national research development institute for seaweed is called for and healthcare food and agricultural products are suggested as usages of seaweed.
An RTÉ News report by Tom MacSweeney broadcast on 20 November 2000.