International Workshop : "The Management of Marine Algal Resources "

3-5 June 2010, Brest, France
Room Lucien Laubier
IFREMER, Brest Centre
Technopôle Plouzané


Please download : pdf
List of participants : pdf


Marine algae and, more specifically kelp, have been under pressure from human activities for centuries. Because of their multiple attributes, their use as food, source of alginate, medicine or fertiliser has developed over the years. Apart from their direct removal from the environment, they also provide habitats for diverse living communities. They have suffered from the degradation of water quality and of various other source of perturbation. They are also sensitive to climatic changes. The exploitation of these important marine plants has led to the establishment of management regimes in all parts of the world with various objectives including the conservation of stocks for harvest, the protection of biological diversity, the maintenance of habitats for sea-ranching or farming and the avoidance of use conflicts. In some countries, the cultivation of marine algae has become a major source of income.

Communities associated with marine algae are of high species richness through the diversity of vegetation but also because they serve as nursery and habitats for a variety of economically important marine organisms (molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, fish etc.). As a result, and apart from the effects directly related to the valorisation of marine algae, there are other important aspects at stake, notably that of conserving marine biodiversity. While research into the exploitation and conservation of the littoral environment is increasing, the complex features associated with the management of marine algal communities remain difficult to measure.

Communities and industries involved in the exploitation of Laminaria and other seaweeds have made substantial efforts to regulate their harvesting or the cultivation. Such management rules have been established in temperate waters around the world. As new uses for marine algae and concerns about biodiversity develop, new issues arise. The sustainability of marine algal communities doesn’t depend only on activities related to their exploitation. Their sensibility to changing environmental conditions and the complexity of the trophic networks with which they are associated are at the origin of their disappearance from the littoral zone in several regions of the world. This is considered as a key global issue in the Millenium Assessment. In Japan, this disappearance is referred to as “desertification” and has important economic consequences for the cultivation of marine gastropods and echinoderms which depend on the existence of Laminaria species. The ecological and economical importance of marine kelp forests has led the Japanese to explore the concept of «marine forest engineering» as a new discipline with an ecological engineering approach.

In this context, AMURE, the Centre for Law and Economics of the Sea organizes an international workshop to be held in Brest (France) 4th to 5th June 2010 plus a field visit of Brittany seaweed industry on the 3rd. This meeting is intended to encourage scientists and professionals (fishers, processing industry, managers) to share their experiences and contribute to the development of international cooperation centring on the theme of Management of marine algal resources. French-English simultaneous translation will be provided.

Organised by the European Institute of Marine Studies, University of Brest, this meeting has been made possible with support from our partners: the ECOKELP Programme (biodiversity section of the French national research agency ANR), the NETALGAE programme (Interregional IV-B Atlantic Office), the Brittany Regional Council, the Finistère General Council, Brest Métropole Océane, GIS Europole Mer, the Brittany Maritime Cluster (Pôle Mer Bretagne) and the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer).

A simultaneous translation will be provided and papers will be presented in French or in English.


Download the flyer of workshop : Pdf

Practical informations and registration

Field Excursion

A visit to the principal site of seaweed extraction in Finistère will be organised on Thursday June 3, 2010 in the afternoon. Interested persons are asked to indicate their participation when they submit their abstract

Meeting Site

The workshop will be held in the IFREMER Brittany Centre, Conference Room Lucien Laubier, Plouzané (near Brest).


Séverine Julien, UMR AMURE, E-mail

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