Kelp industrial production: Potential impacts
on coastal ecosystems

The research project KELPPRO is funded by The Research Council of Norway (HAVBRUK2) and aims to provide an integrated assessment of positive and negative impacts of industrial-scaled kelp farming on coastal environments.

Kelp are large seaweeds growing several meters tall in growth season. The KELPPRO project will assess the complex ecological impacts and system feedbacks through the use of dedicated field studies, microcosms experiments, and numerical modelling. A matrix of production scenarios combined with relevant environment information will be analyzed, evaluating consequences of kelp farming on local and regional scales for present and near future times. Guidelines for decision makers and managing agencies will be provided based on project results.

The project runs from 2017 to 2020 and is led by Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) with partners at SINTEF, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Akvaplan-niva, Institute of Marine Research, University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and leading actors within the Norwegian kelp farming industry.

Project leader: Dr. Kasper Hancke, NIVA Oslo: (

Latest publications:

Evankow, A., Christie, H., Hancke, K. et al. Conserv Genet (2019). Genetic heterogeneity of two bioeconomically important kelp species along the Norwegian coast. [PDF]

Broch OJ, Alver MO, Bekkby T, Gundersen H, Forbord S, HandÃ¥ A, Skjermo J and Hancke K (2019). The Kelp Cultivation Potential in Coastal and Offshore Regions of Norway. Front. Mar. Sci. 5:529. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00529

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