University Of Tasmania
151872 - Growth and biofouling in kelp aquaculture Saccharina latissima.pdf (3.74 MB)
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Growth and biofouling in kelp aquaculture (Saccharina latissima): the effect of location and wave exposure

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 10:55 authored by Wouter VischWouter Visch, Nylund, GM, Pavia, H
Seaweed aquaculture is receiving increasing attention for food and non-food applications in Europe, where it is still an emerging industry. The cultivation of seaweeds in the sea is attractive as it does not compete with agricultural crops for land and freshwater, whilst generating high yearly biomass yield. The selection of suitable cultivation sites in coastal waters is essential for the sustainable establishment and further development of seaweed aquaculture in Europe. Here, we investigate the effects of wave exposure and geographic location on growth and biofouling of kelp (Saccharina latissima), using a transplantation experiment along the Swedish west coast. Biofouling of kelp decreased with increased wave exposure, from 10 and 6% coverage at sheltered and moderately exposed locations, respectively, to 3% at exposed locations. Growth, measured as blade surface area, generally increased with decreased wave exposure, with approximately 40% less growth at exposed locations compared to sheltered or moderately exposed location. We identified that there is large spatial variation in growth and fouling of the seaweed biomass at the selected farm sites, with significant differences from the km-scale to the m-scale. In addition, exposure level affected the tissue composition, with a high carbon, but low nitrogen and water content at exposed locations compared to moderate and sheltered sites. Isotope signatures (i.e. δ13C and δ15N) also differed between exposure levels. Together, these results indicate that wave exposure is an important factor to consider in site selection for both yield as well as quality of the seaweed biomass for future kelp farms.


Publication title

Journal of Applied Phycology








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Kluwer Academic Publ

Place of publication

Van Godewijckstraat 30, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 3311 Gz

Rights statement

© 2020. The Authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified; Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences