Norway is to classify seaweed and kelp as a seafood as part of a strategy to encourage further development of the sector.
While still a niche activity, the cultivation of both species is growing not just in Norway but countries like Scotland and Ireland.
Seaweed has a high food nutritional value while kelp is also known to reduce acidity in the sea and provide a base for agricultural feed stock.
The Norwegian Ministry of Trade is putting forward proposals to define it as seafood, thus coming under the focus of the Norwegian Seafood Council and the seafood research fund known as FHF.
Fisheries and Oceans Minister, Bjørnar Skjæran, said: “Norway must lead the way in the development of the world’s most sustainable and productive seafood industry, and here seaweed and kelp have a natural place.”
He also said he wants to see more research into these two products.
The government is proposing regulation changes, allowing a marketing levy on kelp and seaweed similar to that on fish so the Seafood Council can include it in its promotional work.
The proposed amendment also means that the export of seaweed and kelp for human consumption will be subject to research and development levy, which will be included in the budget for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry’s research funding (FHF).
The Minister added: “The Norwegian Seafood Council does important work for the Norwegian seafood industry in many markets, and FHF creates value for the industry through business-oriented research and development. The proposed changes will help to further develop and increase the visibility of the seaweed and kelp industry.”