General In the picture: FOGEM Master students giving their presentations on algae
The ValgOrize project has inspired three graduating students of the Master FOGEM (Functioning and Management of Marine Ecosystems) program, co-chaired by the Universities of Lille and Littoral Côte d’Opale. Every year the students put on a conference for the general public in Etaples sur Mer in partnership with the aquarium Maréis.
The three students from Lille University (photo 1, from left to right Guillaume Arnouts, Chloé Payelle and Maureen Mellier) presented their project entitled ‘The algae: sustainable resources for tomorrow?’. They worked for 2.5 months to make a literature review, developed and sent different questionnaires for the general public, scientists and professionals from a variety of fields in the French 2 Seas region. They received more than 300 answers.
The students presented the most important results from their survey. For example, only one-third of the respondents from the public at large knew the difference between micro- and macro-algae (seaweed). Ulva and Spirulina were the most commonly known species of seaweed among the participants. Their study confirmed consumer apprehension about algae, and most respondents had not had the opportunity to try them. However, they were familiar with a broad range of applications of algae.
The students discussed all of the advantages and limitations of algae cultivation and use within Europe. Last, the students presented the objectives of the ValgOrize projects and its role in promoting algae valorization within Europe. During a discussion session over cocktails, the attendees showed that the students gave them food for thought…and the participants could taste seaweed snacks prepared by the chef of the restaurant La Matelote in Boulogne sur Mer.