Haroun, R., Gil-Rodríguez, M.C., Neto, A.I., Machín-Sanchez, M. & Viera-Rodríguez, M.A. (2019) A review of current uses and potential biotechnological applications of seaweeds from the Macaronesian region (Central-East Atlantic Ocean).Journal of Applied Phycology, Online early, . DOI:10.1007/s10811-019-01889-4 (IF2018 2,635; Q1 Marine & Freshwater Biology)
Since the 1980s phycological research efforts have been made in the Macaronesian Region, largely focusing on the floristics and systematics of those macroalgae present at the archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, Canaries, and Cabo Verde Islands. Major publications from those studies have allowed cataloging the diversity of macroalgae growing along their volcanic coastlines, but have also described the historical and current uses of some seaweeds. Perhaps most importantly, potential industrial applications from selected seaweeds could result in novel economic resources and income generation as key elements of the Blue Economy Strategies in the region. This review presents the seaweed resources from the Macaronesia Region, which collectively includes 52 taxa, of which—9 greens, 14 browns, and 29 reds are cataloged. Some geographic areas, e.g., the Cabo Verde Islands and Madeira, require more intense field research in order to investigate selected, target seaweeds of interest which may become new marine resources for commercial exploitation. Future development of this emerging marine biotechnological sector will depend on the sustainable management of wild stocks, as well as implementation of culture techniques for biomass production, adapted to the environmental and socio-economic conditions of the respective archipelagos. In parallel, capacity building actions are foreseen to boost the large potential of Macaronesian seaweeds as key elements of the local Blue Economy.