ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2010, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 227–242. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Original Russian Text © E.A. Titlyanov, T.V. Titlyanova, 2010, published in Biologiya Morya.
In the last 3 decades of the 20th century aquacul
ture became one of the leading food industries, pro
ducing fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and seaweed. The
production of mariculture farms (those rearing marine
animals) in 2002 made up about 40 million tons FWT
(fresh weight) of marine animals and more than 8 mil
lion tons FWT of seaweeds: 6 million tons of brown
algae, about 2.1 million tons of red algae, and about
100 000 tons of green algae . Macroalgae are culti
vated in Asia (Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Indonesia,
China, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, Philip
pines, and Japan), in Australia and on neighboring
islands, in New Zealand, on the Pacific islands (Fiji,
Tongo, and Kiribati), in North America (USA and
Canada), South America (Argentina, Brazil, and
Chile), in the Caribbean countries, in Africa (SAR,
Namibia, Morocco, and Tanzania), and in Europe
(Germany, Portugal, France, Norway, and Sweden).
Mariculture reached the largest scale of production
and development in Asian countries, which contribute
over 80% of the world seaweed biomass production.
China is the largest seaweed producer and consumer;
it produces about 60% of the global seaweed produc
tion [30, 68, 86].
Seaweeds from almost 30 genera are cultivated
worldwide. Commercially cultivated seaweeds include
species from 17 genera, viz.,
Gelidium, Gigartina, Gracilaria, Hydropuntia, Hypnea,
Kappaphycus, Meristotheca, Porphyra
Saccharina, Laminaria, Undaria, Cladosiphon
Agardhiella, Gelidium, Gigartina, Por
The article was translated by the authors.
phyra, Saccharina, Laminaria, Undaria, Monostroma
are cultivated in the temperate zone, and
Eucheuma, Gracilaria, Hydropuntia, Hypnea, Kappa
are mainly grown
in the tropics and subtropics.
The present paper examines the state of the art of
commercial and experimental cultivation of seaweeds
around the world, describes extensive and intensive
approaches to seaweed cultivation and also focuses on
integrated farming (polyculture). Major problems of
the largescale monoculture of seaweeds and of poly
culture are outlined, and recommendations are given
on how to overcome these problems. The paper also
discusses the prospects of seaweed mariculture, which
should be focused on the limiting of extensive monoc
ulture in favor of integrated polyculture systems.
METHODS OF SEAWEED CULTIVATION
The methods of seaweed cultivation are greatly var
ied. A seaweed species for cultivation is chosen
according to the location of a farm and cultivation
facilities (in the open sea, on the land, in the cold
waters of a temperate zone, or in warm waters of the
tropics), on the productivity and adaptability of a spe
cies (it may be slowgrowing, fastgrowing, shade
adapted, high light–adapted, able to grow in olig
otrophic waters, or require high nutrient levels), on the
dimensional characteristics of an aquatic ecosystem
(size and depth) and also on such factors as irradiance,
temperature conditions, nutrient enrichment, pollu
tion, water movement, and degree of wave action. A
definite cultivation method is chosen according to its
cost effectiveness and to the application of seaweeds
Seaweed Cultivation: Methods and Problems
E. A. Titlyanov and T. V. Titlyanova
Institute of Marine Biology, Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Received January 28, 2010
—This paper presents an overview of the state of the art in global seaweed cultivation. It describes
methodological approaches and main cultivation methods and discusses different problems arising during the
application of these methods. One of the major problems is the negative effect of largescale monoculture of
seaweeds on natural benthic biocenoses. We express our views on how to tackle the most acute problems of
macroalgal farming on the basis of our own data and data from other authors. The sustainable use of natural
monodominant seaweed communities is shown to be preferable to mariculture. A detailed analysis is given of
various mariculture models and the latest achievements in the integrated farming of seaweeds, fish, crusta
ceans, and mollusks.
marine seaweeds, cultivation, methods.