An Integral Model of Ecology values and Ecoservices
The use of marine algae/seaweed in culinary presentations and gastronomy in Far Eastern countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and parts of Southeast-Asia is well known. In Scandinavia however, seaweed is mainly associated with humble origins, local coastal activities and historical narratives. In Norway, seaweed was regularly washed ashore during storms, making harvest of the seaweed accessible for use for animal feed and as soil fertiliser. During the 18th century in the Scandinavian coastal regions, seaweed was also gathered to produce potash and soda ash that were used for cleaning and to make glass. The alginate industry blossomed in the 1960s in Norway when seaweed was harvested manually from the coast for applications in the food industry as a thickening agent.
T he past decade has witnessed a (re)discovery of seaweed as a natural resource and raw produce. While there is increasing academic interest in modelling ecoservices, there seems a lack of a unified or integral view from the various disciplines in a combined knowledge of the field.
Taking the example of seaweed aquaculture, t his paper applies an integral theoretical framework of analysis on ecology values and ecosystem services towards a unified perspective of ecosystem services. Empirical data is collected from various study visits to seaweed farms, as well as interviews with industry actors / stakeholders.
The paper presents and discusses how an integral view of the ecology values and ecosystem services in s eaweed aquaculture can help towards deeper strategic management of today´s natural resources and marine environments. Seaweed is proving to be not only a valuable industry resource but one that enables an emerging services industry sector, ecoservices in seaweed aquaculture. The applied Integral Theory model also highlights challenges that seaweed aquaculture faces , and suggests means for further collaboration between research institutions, industry actors and governance.