The European macroalgae industry is based on the harvesting of natural resources of macroalgae. Worldwide macroalgae production (includes brown, red and green seaweeds) increases 5.7 % every year, in 2008 nearly 14 mill tons of macroalgae was produced from capture and aquaculture. In Europe the production has been stable since 1960, but has decreased in the last 10 years. The further expansion of the industry depends on a stable access to raw material, development of valuable products and the transfer of expertise between developed and less developed regions.
The aim of the NETALGAE project was to create a European network of relevant stakeholders within the marine macroalgae sector. Compilation of information from different regions resulted in a wide ranging policy study of existing practice within the macroalgae industry. Analysis of the results stablished a best practice model and suggested policies for the successful, sustainable commercial utilisation of marine macroalgae resources.