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This concerning Technical Paper is written for those who know little about the seaweed industry, but wish to know more. It has been written with a minimum of technical language and is designed to help those who are asked to make decisions the seaweed industry when they have little background information to assist them. Such decisions may be about regulation of the various sectors of the industry, about assistance to it, or financial investment in it. This may involve people in bodies such as government agencies, development banks, national and international aid and development organizations, NGOs and financial institutions.

It may also be of value to marine scientists, or students of marine science, who wish to extend their knowledge of the macro-algae and their application in the food, hydrocolloid and other industries.

Then there are those people, many of whom the author has encountered over the last twenty years, who observe the vast quantities of seaweeds on coasts and in seas around the world and ask "What can be done with it and how could they profit by utilizing this natural resource?" This paper is a useful starting point for such entrepreneurs.

The first section - Introduction to commercial seaweeds - is recommended to all readers, especially those who need a brief overview of the industry. Readers with more specific interests can then move to the other sections, which deal with particular sectors of the seaweed industry. Here, sufficient detail is provided for the average reader, but for those requiring more information on particular topics, lists of useful references are given in the text.

FAO Fisheries Department - Selected addresses
FAO Regional Fisheries Officers

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