Our Natural Resource

Our Natural Resources

The two key seaweed species for MBL will be the shoreline species, Ascophyllum Nodosum, and the deeper water type, Laminaria Hyperborea. The typical harvesting cycle for both of these species in Scottish waters is five years, offering a safe period for full regeneration. The use of both of these species of seaweed is long known in Scotland, going back hundreds of years, and they remain both in plentiful supply and in good condition today.

Ascophyllum Nodosum is a seaweed species which is widespread around N Atlantic shorelines and it is commonly called Knotted Wrack or Egg Wrack in English. Its mid-intertidal location (covering and uncovering with the tides) means that it has to cope with less arduous conditions than some species; this has a consequence on the component types and quantities present and its alginate is best characterised as a thickening (or High M) type.


Laminaria Hyperborea is a seaweed species of the N E Atlantic and variously goes by the names of Kelp, Cuvie or Tangle. It is found in the sub-littoral zone, being permanently submerged, attached to rocky sea beds, and is found in water depths down to 20 metres or more. Its more demanding location means that its components have considerable “strength” and its alginate is best characterised as a gelling (or High G) type. This seaweed species will be MBL’s most important single seaweed raw material, and it is broadly spread across Scottish waters.


In addition to the above, MBL’s process works well with other available seaweed types which contain alginates with different balances of thickening and gelling (so called M:G ratios), and these will be harvested in future.

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