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Supporting sustainable local seaweed businesses this Christmas

SW-Grow European project highlights the importance of supporting local seaweed businesses this holiday season

SW-Grow EU & NPA funded project. Sustainable harvesting off the coast of Aran Islands by bláth na mara.

SW-Grow EU & NPA funded project. Sustainable harvesting off the coast of Aran Islands by bláth na mara.


The cool, clear and clean waters of the North Atlantic allows seaweed to grow, flourish and thrive. Our pristine shoreline supports an ideal and sustainable environment which yields seaweed packed with minerals, antioxidants and a vast range of nutrients. In order to develop the industry further, the project SW-Grow, which is funded by the EU, Northern Periphery and Artic (NPA) program, was established. The Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020 Programme is part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, also known as Interreg, in the framework of the cohesion policy, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

SW-Grow is a collaborative project for the seaweed industry, where eight different partners from countries across the NPA region, including Údarás Na Gealtachta and NUI Galway, are working together to improve the economic opportunities for the seaweed Industry.

The main result of this project will be the establishment of a “brand” of excellence for seaweed across the NPA region, demonstrating that seaweed from the area is high quality, consistent and sustainable. This project aims to identify common issues throughout the region and give access to high-level R&D links within academic partners across regional and national borders to pilot solutions that can be adopted throughout the industry - thus developing solutions that enable technology transfer across the programme area - in particular benefiting SMEs. This will result in higher levels of innovation and competitiveness in remote and sparsely populated areas by transfer and development of models and solutions that facilitate technology transfer to, and across, the programme area.

“Tá comhlachtaí Gealtachta ag tabhairt faoi obair nua-aimseartha agus nuálaíochta chun táirgí ard chaighdeán atá bunaithe ar úsáid a bhaint as acmhainní nádúrtha go hinbhuanaithe, a tháirgeadh anseo, agus is fiú go mór tacú leo.” Mark De Faoite (White), Stiúrthóir Fiontraíochta, Fostaíochta & Maoine

Seaweed is a versatile and nutritious ingredient with many benefits for health and skin. The Gaeltacht boosts some great seaweed companies and you can now buy directly from their websites.

Bláth na Mara

David and Jenny, Bláth na Mara
David and Jenny, Bláth na Mara

Bláth na Mara, located on the Aran Islands are restoring an age-old tradition to nourish a new food generation.

Jenny and David carry on the tradition of seaweed harvesting from Jenny’s father Máirtín and his grandmother before him. They are creating innovative new products to revive this traditional Irish food. The shore of Aran is a sea garden boasting a myriad of tastes and textures. Each season brings it’s bounty and they love bringing these beautiful flavours to your table. Their website has some great recipes too, just in time for that Christmas spirit:

Bláth na mara has given our readers 10 per cent off with their code “MARA10” for online purchases. 

Deirdre UÍ Chathmhaoil, Rí na Mara
Deirdre UÍ Chathmhaoil, Rí na Mara

Rí na Mara

Rí na Mara is a family business founded in 2004 in An Spidéal, who harvest wild, organic seaweed on the west coast of Ireland, and combine with botanical extracts to create a unique, natural skincare range.

Seasonal gift sets with sustainable ingredients, “Spa at home” product ideas all can be found and purchased via their website. 

Use the code “CHRISTMAS” to save 10 per cent on your order. 

For more, visit

Nuasan Active Skin and Bodycare

Nuasan Active Skin and Bodycare range, supporting active people.
Nuasan Active Skin and Bodycare range, supporting active people.

Nuasan Active Skin and Bodycare is a range of natural and sustainable products created to support active people. Based in the Galway Gaeltacht, the range includes Nuasan Active Body Wash, Nuasan Active Foot Care, Nuasan Active Body Wipes and Nuasan Active Bodycare Kit with lots more coming soon. Enriched with many natural active ingredients, one of the key ingredients in the range is seaweed extracts which are added for their hydrating, soothing, skin cell renewing and anti-inflammatory properties. Shop online and use the code “SEAWEED” for 10 per cent off. 

An é seo an bronntanas don duine gníomhach i do shaol an Nollaig seo. Téigh go chun ordú a dhéanamh inniu. 

Connemara Seaweed Company

Noel Lee, Connemara Seaweed Company
Noel Lee, Connemara Seaweed Company

For generations, the Lee family, from Lettermullen, Co Galway (a beautiful windswept Island off the West Coast of Ireland) have been hand harvesting seaweed of the Connemara Coast on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Seaweed helps maintain a healthy cellular function both within the body and on the skin ... so eat or take a bath in it, or even better both. Shop their online store for products bursting with these essential vitamins & minerals: You can also get 10 per cent off your order with the code “LOCAL”.

The Seaweed Centre

The Seaweed Centre, showcasing the seaweed diversity in the West of Ireland
The Seaweed Centre, showcasing the seaweed diversity in the west of Ireland

The Seaweed and Heritage centre will be your steppingstone to discover the untouched beauty that is Leitir Mealláin in the Archipelago of South Connemara. Revisit your youth in their Ionad Oidhreachta with a treasure trove of artefacts from the past.

Treat yourself to a full body massage followed by a steam therapy session and a revitalising, stress relieving and rejuvenating seaweed bath. Relax in their Seaweed Café and view the Aran Islands, Tower Cheann Golaim and the majestic Twelve Bens. For more information visit

Níl iontu seo ach roinnt cuideachtaí atá ag feidhmiú i dtimpeallacht na Gaeltachta. Chun níos mó a fhoghlaim faoi SW-Grow déan teagmháil le do thoil le Cliodhna, Oifigeach Tionscadail ag Déan teagmháil le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta más mian leat do smaoineamh gnó a phlé agus beidh gach cabhair le fáil uaidh Feidhmeannach Forbartha na Mara, Máire Ní Éinniú,