ULVA: Tomorrow's "Wheat of the sea", a model for an innovative mariculture

Bela H. Buck, Muki Shpigel

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


    A growing interest in the development of oceanic coastal shores has arisen over the past decade, seeking alternative sustainable food sources and other valuable products. Our initiative aims at exploiting the potential of marine seaweeds in Europe. Building on the successes of previous EU and pan-European projects on seaweeds, and due the unique characteristics of the genus Ulva (Linnaeus, 1753), we have identified these green algae as the most suitable candidate and model organism for a novel kind of European mariculture. Much of the knowledge on Ulva, generated in diverse scientific disciplines and different communities, is not easily comparable nor is it shared among scientists, stakeholders, end users and the public. This COST Action, "SeaWheat" (CA20106—TOMORROW'S 'WHEAT OF THE SEA': ULVA, A MODEL FOR AN INNOVATIVE MARICULTURE), proposes an innovative conceptual pathway to address these issues, significantly improving knowledge in the biology of the most promising Ulva spp., capitalising on their economic potential, and exploring commercial applications in the human food, animal feed, pharmaceutical industries and ecosystem service. The COST Action combines interdisciplinary approaches to the sustainable use of marine resources, encompassing all the facets of Ulva biology, ecology, aquaculture, engineering, economic and social sciences. This Action will lead to the development of advanced science, create business and job opportunities in the maritime and coastal economies, and have a significant impact on societal welfare. This COST Action fulfils the current ‘Societal Challenges Priorities’ of European Horizon 2020 strategy for food security, and its application will contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 14 (UNSDG) to conserve and sustainably exploit natural resources.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1967-1970
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Oct 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


    • Ecosystem service
    • Food security
    • Mariculture
    • Production
    • Seaweed

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aquatic Science
    • Plant Science


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