Seaweeds are a valuable, underused resource. It is my belief that in a future bio-based, carbon-negative economy, seaweeds will have a larger role to play than they currently do.

To achieve that future, a lot of barriers need to be overcome in every aspect of the value chain: fundamental science, regulations, investment, farming and harvesting, distribution, processing, applications, certifications and conservation.

The goal of Phyconomy is to improve the flow of information between

  • the different parts of the value chain
  • academia, business, investors and government
  • different parts of the world.

If you would like to get in touch, send an e-mail to [email protected].

A bit of history

Seaweeds had caught my attention in 2019. I had been thinking about the economics of ecosystem restoration for some time and seaweeds felt like a unique place where ecosystem restoration could potentially pay for itself within the current capitalist framework. It felt like this could be a new interest for me after I had exhausted my curiosity about Central Asia, running a travel guide/booking platform for the region for nearly a decade.

With the collapse of travel in 2020, I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands to work on something new. I knew absolutely nothing about seaweeds, but I had a strong desire to learn and share what I found out. If I had these questions, there must have been others out there with the same problems. Maybe I could help us all out. It was worth a try.

I started the newsletter and the seaweed database in late 2020 as ways to collate and curate information about the seaweed industry, with a focus on the business side of things. In 2021, I received a grant from the ClimateWorks Foundation to seriously expand the database.

At the end of 2021, I published my first State of the Seaweed Industry. This led to a number of consulting assignments in 2022, writing reports on the future of the seaweed industry in Europe and Africa. I also spoke at conferences in Scotland, Germany and India.

At the end of 2022, I published my second State of the Seaweed Industry. In the past 2 years, Phyconomy was referenced in

The author – Steven Hermans