Grubbing and upwelling, two complementary and sustainable techniques

Wed, 14/07/2021 - 06:18
algae

The Gelidium alga is a red alga that belongs to the Rhodophytas family and has a great regenerative capacity due to its vegetative growth. In Spain, these algae are located on the Cantabrian Coast, in Asturias and Cantabria.

The techniques used for harvesting them are grubbing and upwelling, which are complementary, sustainable, safe and legally regulated, and have been practiced on the Cantabrian coast for decades. Hispanagar acquires Gelidium algae that have been harvested, both by grubbing and upwelling techniques, and subsequently markets them according to their different applications.

The algae that are extracted using the grubbing technique are collected from the seabeds by professional divers in specific periods and in amounts regulated by the Public Administration. The harvesting season begins on 1 July and ends on 30 September (or earlier if the quotas are exhausted).

Algae extracted by this technique are free of impurities. They are ideal for the manufacture of bacteriological agar and for use in microbiology culture media.

The Gelidium algae collected by the upwelling technique have no specific collection date. They are mature algae that are left on the seabed, and are separated by the action of the sea to make way for the new harvest.

As they are not selected, they are mixed with other species and contain impurities, therefore, they are destined to agar types used in food.

Both algae harvesting techniques and the different uses of each agar have coexisted for decades and will continue to do so thanks to the strict control by competent authorities, combined with the environmental commitment to the sustainability of the resource that Hispanagar has been leading for 60 years and that all agar producers have adopted.