Society and Seaweed: Understanding the Past and Present

A. Delaney, K. Frangoudes, S. A. Ii

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Throughout the world, seaweed has held an important role in culture and society. This chapter provides an overview of the uses of seaweeds and their management, focusing in particular, though not exclusively, on Atlantic coastal Europe and East Asia. Harvesting seaweed has historically been a challenging occupation, which produces status, luxury goods, and "peasant" food alike. Following human consumptive uses, the creativity of humans found uses for the algae as feed for animals, fertilizers, housing materials, medicines, and, today, for industrial purposes. Management institutions have evolved to sustainably harvest these algae and these institutions reflect local cultures and values in which all harvesters are recognized, especially women. Women's contributions are very important in this industry, for both wild harvesting as well as farming.Though the use of seaweeds and seaweed harvesting has waxed and waned over the years, particularly for many isolated regions, it remains a critically important resource even today.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSeaweed in Health and Disease Prevention
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780128027936
ISBN (Print)9780128027721
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 28


  • Blue growth
  • Culture
  • Division of labor
  • East Asia
  • Europe
  • Farming
  • Gender roles
  • Harvesting
  • Human consumption
  • Industrial uses
  • Management Institutions


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