SAMS doc­tor leads £5m sea­weed project

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A DOC­TOR from SAMS will lead a £5 mil­lion project that aims to pro­tect the sea­weed in­dus­try in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Dr Liz Cot­tier- Cook, pic­tured, and col­leagues at Dun­staffnage-based SAMS will be us­ing their al­gal ex­per­tise to help train pro­duc­ers from de­vel­op­ing na­tions in how to iden­tify dis­ease and im­prove biose­cu­rity mea­sures.

Sci­en­tists from seven in­ter­na­tional re­search in­sti­tutes will be in­volved in the global sea­weed project.

Dr El­iz­a­beth Cot­tier- Cook said: ‘ World­wide, sea­weed farm­ing pro­vides in­come to mil­lions of fam­i­lies in ru­ral coastal com­mu­ni­ties and pro­vides a source of food. The in­dus­try has also en­abled women to be­come eco­nom­i­cally ac­tive in ar­eas where few op­por­tu­ni­ties ex­ist.

‘But many sea­weeds grown in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are in­ten­tion­ally in­tro­duced from other parts of the world and they can bring with them a whole host of pests and dis­ease, which go on to have wider en­vi­ron­men­tal con­se­quences.’

The sea­weed in­dus­try is worth more than $5 bil­lion world­wide, an­nu­ally, and it is grow­ing by around 10 per cent each year.

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