Introduction

This article deals with aspects of mass production of marine macroalgae, also known as 'seaweeds'. This term traditionally includes only macroscopic, multicellular marine red, green, and brown algae. Seaweeds are abun dant and ancient autotrophic organisms that can be found in virtually all near shore aquatic ecosystems and some may attain a length of 50 m or more. Despite the variety of life forms and the thousand of seaweed species described, seaweed aquaculture is presently based in a relatively small group of about 100 taxa. Of these, five genera (Laminaria, Undaria, Porphyra, Eucheuma/Kappaphycus, and Gracilaria) account for about 98% of world seaweed pro duction. The basic cultivation techniques of these genera are described.

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