In recent years, there has been increasing interest in seaweed aquaculture, mainly driven by research into algal biofuel technologies. Seaweeds could become an important source for third generation biofuels production as its aquaculture does not compete for land and freshwater with either food or non-food crops. Furthermore, seaweeds have high productivity, fast growth rates and high polysaccharide content; all important qualities for biomass for biofuels.

Macroalgae could also represent a significant sink for anthropogenic CO2 (“Blue Carbon”), and cultivation and the harvesting of seaweeds could play an important role in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.