COST Action FA1406 (2015-2019)

PEGASUS - Phycomorph European Guidelines for a SUstainable Aquaculture of Seaweeds



Authors: Michèle Barbier, Bénédicte Charrier, Rita Araujo, Susan L. Holdt, Bertrand Jacquemin, Céline Rebours

Editors: Michèle Barbier & Bénédicte Charrier

  • PEGASUS FULL RECOMMENDATIONS - Version 9 May 2019 (200 pages)
  • PEGASUS CONCLUDING RECOMMENDATIONS - For decision-makers (20 pages)
  • PEGASUS KEY FACTS (8 pages)



Domestication of the oceans is widely regarded as a possible solution to increase food and could be one of the next most important developments in human history. By 2050, the edible bioresource biomass will have to satisfy the 9 billion people predicted to live on the planet. Seaweed aquaculture can help to address global challenges related to nutrition, health and sustainable circular bio economy. Today, there is growing need for development, improvement and diversification of seaweed aquaculture practices in Europe, a continent characterised by its large coastal territory and large range of climates.

Seaweed are plant-like organisms, playing a key ecological role in coastal ecosystems: support of food web, coastal protection of erosion, bioremediation by removal of nitrogen or phosphate and possible pollutants and CO2 sequestration. Although European marine flora displays one of the highest species-diversity levels in the world, its commercial production is still in its infancy, with only 1% of the world’s production from which less than 1% was coming from aquaculture in 2016. Interest in seaweed-based industrial applications is on the rise. The estimated value of the global seaweed production industry is more than ~ 8B€ (for 30Mt) and is continuing to expand. Seaweed are thus a promising bioresource for the future and the demand for high-value seaweed-derived compounds (cosmetics, food) is growing in Europe. However, the European production lags behind Asian countries despite its large exclusive economic zone, its high seaweed biodiversity and its international leadership in fundamental research on seaweed genomics, genetics and cutting-edge techniques.

Therefore, European industries involved in the development of sustainable seaweed aquaculture need to be supported. The 200p technical document "PEGASUS" highlights the current state of European seaweed production and pinpoints challenges for the development of this sector in the current European context. It proposes recommendations for short-term and long-term improvements at different levels of the chain.




Michèle Barbier, Institute for Science & Ethics, Nice, France

Bénédicte Charrier, CNRS, Station Biologique de Roscoff, CNRS, France

Rita Araujo, European Commission – DG JRC – Ispra, Italy (EU)

Susan Holdt, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Bertrand Jacquemin, CEVA, Centre d’Etude et de Valorisation des Algues, France

Céline Rebours, Møreforsking Ålesund AS, Norway


Oral presentations

PEGASUS was presented at the following events:


More information : 

Michèle Barbier

Bénédicte Charrier