Site Selection

The most important aspect in developing a productive seaweed farm is the site selection. Farmers look for good water motion that replenishes nutrients, keeps the seaweed clean and prevents extreme fluctuations in temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved gases. The farm shouldn’t be too exposed to strong winds, waves and currents either. The exposure, location, water depth and substrate beneath the farm will determine the farm design and its cultivation method.

Explore Site Selection by Species


Pyropia is cultivated during the winter in estuaries or brackish water zones and grows well in temperatures below 10°C. Sheltered sites are preferred since the net structures have a larger surface area that can get damaged by stronger wave action or storms.

In South Korea the majority of Pyropia farming takes place in the Southern coast, particularly Jeonnam region, where large tidal fluctuations and sheltered environment provide excellent growing conditions. 

In Japan, the regions around the Ariake Sea are most famous for Pyropia production, namely Saga, Fukoumo, Hyogo and Kumamoto. A sheltered environment combined with strong tidal fluctuations provide good growing conditions.

In China, the Pyropia farming hotspot is the coastline of Jiangsu province, which is North of Shanghai. Zhejiang and Fujian province further South follow in terms of production output.

The strong tide fluctuations in the Yellow Sea provide excellent Pyropia farming conditions.

A concession or licence to farm is mandatory to obtain from the government, since the farmable area is publicly owned.  Permission to use this area will be granted through application via the local government in all three countries.

In South Korea and Japan it is mandatory to be in a farmers association in order to receive a permit and a fee for the farm area has to be paid. In China farmers generally don’t have to pay any fee for the use of the farm area. 

In China and South Korea it is getting more difficult to obtain permits for new farms or farm expansions, as the maximum carrying capacity has been reached in most established locations.

Explore another seaweed species:
Eucheumatoids  |  Saccharina Undaria  |  Pyropia |  Gracilaria

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