The marine environment provides significant resource for high value compounds across a range of sectors. Ireland’s marine resources are significant; our seabed territory is 10 times our landmass and our coastline is longer than most European countries.

This valuable resource requires proper management and in 2012 ‘Harnessing our Ocean Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland’ was published. The Plan is an initiative of the Inter-Departmental Marine Coordination Group, which is comprised of senior representatives of Departments with an involvement in maritime/marine affairs to discuss and coordinate issues that require inter-departmental action. Emerging marine industries are growing much faster than established marine industries and these include high-tech marine products and services, marine biotechnology, bio-products and marine renewable energy.

One of Ireland’s most prominent marine resources is seaweed. With a long history in Ireland, for the last decade seaweed has been strongly promoted as an emerging opportunity for Ireland, from nutritional source and overlooked vegetable to protection against Brexit.

At present Ascophyllum nodosum represents almost 95% of all harvested seaweed, however many companies are looking at alternate species to expand their raw material base and commercial opportunities. Shannon ABC has worked with Irish seaweed companies for over 10 years applying seaweed and seaweed extracts to Food, Feed, Cosmetics, Agriculture, Healthcare and Biotechnology applications.

Additional marine bioresources available in Ireland include fish waste and microalgae. Microalgae are microscopic algal organisms and can be sourced and cultivated in freshwater or marine environments. Shannon ABC have experience with both these types of bioresource, and particularly so with microalgae; a core research area for Shannon ABC.

Cell Culture Research
Microalgal Biotechnology

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