Growing Algae Sustainably in the Baltic Sea (GRASS)

Interreg BSR

Growing Algae Sustainably in the Baltic Sea (GRASS)

Cultivation and processing of macroalgae is a rapidly developing industry and the use of macroalgae biomass in the production of food, bioplastics and energy is expected to continue to grow. However, the development of this sector in the Baltic Sea region is still in its infancy, and there is a lack of in-depth knowledge about the potential benefits of macroalgae production. To address this problem, the project aim was to improve knowledge and increase capacity in the cultivation, processing and use of macroalgae in the Baltic Sea region.

Project activities

  • evaluate the potential of macroalgae cultivation and extraction in the Baltic Sea region by analyzing environmental data, identifying suitable places and efficient production methods;
  • evaluate existing legislation and regulatory frameworks and identify gaps in them, implement knowledge transfer measures and develop guidelines to promote the further potential of macroalgae production and use, for example, for food;
  • emphasize the socio-economic benefits and opportunities of macroalgae cultivation, collection/harvesting and use in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) and develop a digital website/tool for decision-making in macroalgae cultivation.

The project created maps illustrating suitable growing and harvesting sites, as well as spatial planning synergies and conflicts; a digital tool to estimate the amount of nutrients removed from the sea by macroalgae; good practice guidelines for licensing processes for the production and use of macroalgae in BJR; manuals, including training materials for macroalgae growers and users.

Project partners

  • Royal Institute of Technology, KTH (Sweden) – lead partner
  • Uppsala University (Sweden)
  • Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology
  • Liepāja University (Latvia)
  • Kurzeme Planning Region (Latvia)
  • Finnish Environment Institute SYKE (Finland)
  • University of Turku (Finland)
  • Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Finland)
  • Finnish Ministry of Environment (Finland)
  • The Regional Council for Southwest Finland
  • John Nurminen Foundation (Finland)
  • National Marine Fisheries Research Institute (Poland)
  • Ministry of Maritime Economy amnd Inland Navigation of Poland
  • University of Tartu (Estonia)
  • Republic of Estonia Ministry of the Environment
  • Est-Agar AS (Estonia)
  • Competence Network Aquaculture of the Federal state Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)
  • Guldborgsund Municipality (Denmark)
  • and others

Project deliverables

All GRASS project results are available in English on the project website

Project reports and results in Latvian are available on the website of Kurzeme Planning Region

Project resulrs on macroalgae cultivation (in Latvian)

A short documentary about the project and its results

Contact person

About the project

Project start date: 01.01.2019.

Project end date: 31.12.2021.

Project webpage:

Budget: 1 946 057.80 EUR

Financiers: ERAF līdzfinansējums – 1 544 995.39 EUR

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