The coast of Peru (3.5-18°S) is one of the most productive marine areas in the world. The updated seaweed checklist reports a total of 260 specific/intraspecific taxa, of which the Rhodophyta show the highest number (185 species), followed by Chlorophyta (41 species) and Phaeophyceae (34 species). Since 2012, an increase in molecular studies has been reported mostly in Rhodophyta, while Chlorophyta and Phaeophyceae have lagged far behind. Utilization of seaweed resources has been based on artisanal collection from natural beds. These are mainly consumed fresh or salt-dried (Chondracanthus chamissoi and Porphyra/Pyropia species), or exported for polysaccharide extraction (Lessonia nigrescens, Lessonia trabeculata, Macrocystis pyrifera). Although some regulations for brown seaweed extraction exist, overexploitation is a constant threat that must be addressed. Biomass from seaweed farms accounts, at most, for only 4% of the total annual landings, and there is a decreasing trend on seaweed aquaculture production since 2012. However, some cultivation projects for C. chamissoi and Porphyra/Pyropia species are currently being undertaken. In addition, recent studies have started to explore new uses of commercial and non-commercial seaweeds. Uncovering the Peruvian seaweed diversity and establishing well sustained culture and management projects are essential for utilizing and preserving the seaweed resources of Peru.
- molecular studies
- seaweed resources