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The seaweed resources of Chile over the period 2006–2016: moving from gatherers to cultivators

Carolina Camus, María del Carmen Hernández-González and Alejandro H. Buschmann
From the journal Botanica Marina


Chile, located in the southeastern Pacific, possess a high richness of seaweed species, some of which have been traditionally extracted from natural beds for the production of hydrocolloids (e.g. agar, carrageenan and alginates), but still a high proportion of the biomass is being exported as dried material to processors in Asia and Europe. During the period 2006–2016, this tendency has been maintained, but has also started to show signs of changing towards a more sustainable, localized seaweed industry as new actions by the Chilean government provided subsidies to seaweed farming activities and also to investments in local valorization of the resources. This “sea change” has been further supported by an increase in the number of localized scientific and technical studies related to Chilean seaweed resources which has prepared the foundation required in order to move to more advanced stages of local seaweed farming and development of local processing.


This work was supported by Centro Basal CONICYT FB-0001, FONDECYT no. 118647 (AHB) and FONDECYT INICIACION no. 11170699 (CC). We acknowledge the English review of Sandra Pereda. The authors thank the reviewers for their contribution to our work.


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Article note

This article is part of the special issue series of Botanica Marina: Seaweed resources of the world: a 2020 vision, starting publication in Botanica Marina 2019, vol. 62, issue 3. The series will be guest-edited by Alan T. Critchley, Anicia Hurtado, Leonel Pereira, Melania Cornish, Danilo Largo and Nicholas Paul.

Received: 2018-03-15
Accepted: 2018-11-13
Published Online: 2018-12-20
Published in Print: 2019-06-26

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