Colombia has a diverse range of marine ecosystems in the coastal and insular areas of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Seaweed research has focused mainly on the identification and taxonomic distribution of 628 species identified so far, mainly in the Caribbean Sea. Among the most widely cultivated genera of seaweeds in open-sea pilot systems in Colombia are Hydropuntia, Gracilaria, Hypnea, Kappaphycus, and Eucheuma. These genera have shown low yields as a consequence of high tissue fragility, epiphytism, sedimentation, and nitrogen deficiency. In addition, the evaluation of the biological activity of selected seaweed compounds has advanced considerably, focusing on their composition and their use for direct consumption by humans and animals. Despite the diversity of seaweeds, as well as certain technical and scientific advances, Colombia is still lagging behind other countries in seaweed exploitation, both in Latin America and worldwide. This current status raises the need to increase research, technological (agro-tech) appropriation, and the adoption of effective public policies that will boost algal businesses. In addition, seaweed cultivation could support the current blue economy transition in Colombia, which could eventually allow the country to enter the global seaweed market.
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