About Seaweed First

About us

A cove for bathing in Mount Ulia in the city of San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa. Basque Country

Our Why

Seaweed First was born in 2021 with a single goal: Help protect the oceans and empower coastal communities. Originally from the Basque coast of France, our funders had witnessed first-hand the effects of environmental degradation of their home and wanted to find a viable way to restore our ocean health while supporting coastal communities.

The answer was seaweed an undervalued resource with incredible regenerative and economic potential. Still, after researching the industry, it became clear that the lack of trusted data was the biggest roadblock to progress. So that is the problem we set up to solve.

These days, we work tirelessly to facilitate a swift transition towards a sustainable and scalable seaweed economy through analysis and standardization. By 2030, we aim to become the leading platform to monitor, assess, and improve the seaweed best practices and quality sourcing.

Our How

We believe knowledge is power. So we seek to unlock all the benefits of seaweed by creating data and analysis tools that promote transparency and innovation. We have chosen to set ourselves as a non-profit as to guarantee the highest ethical standards when it comes to data management and also to act as a trusted intermediary among potentially competing industry actors.

We trust that this approach, combined with the numerous trans-sectoral applications of our data-driven insights, will hoist seaweed as one of the key resources of the future in addressing our global challenges.

Join us on the journey!

Woman harvesting seaweed

Our advisory board

Isabelle de Cremoux

CEO - Seventure

Dr. Helen Fitton

Director - Phycosolutions

Tony Haymet

Emeritus Director and Vice Chancellor Scipps Institution of Oceanography

Catherine Jadot

Program lead - Ocean visions

Tony Jaillot

Global VP Beauty - Univar solutions

Eric de Quatrebarbes

Head of Europe Cluster Business Unit Executive Vice President - Capgemini

Emma Salisbury

Executive Director in venture philanthropy

Wei Zhang

Founding Director - Flinders Center for Marine Bioproducts Development, Flinders University

Our team

Antoine Erwes

Antoine has long been passionate about facilitating understanding between people. That is what led him to get a BA in Chinese and an MBA in management, working to build bridges between brands and new markets through communications and event management. 

After coming across a report about the benefits of seaweed, he felt captivated by the potential of this this old yet unknown industry to solve global issues and committed to learn all he could about it. Ever since, he has been fully dedicated to valorizing seaweed and finding practical approaches to promote its many amazing solutions.

Antoine recently joined NOAH ReGen as the Head of their Algae division in order to support the development of blue carbon strategy for seaweed.

Nicolas Erwes

French and Canadian analyst with a multidisciplinary background in international relations, sustainability, and finance. After serving four years in the French Navy as intelligence analyst in the Gulf of Guinea and French Guyana, Nicolas launched the non-profit Seaweed First. 

The organization evaluates quality standards for seaweed cultivation through a multidisciplinary indicator called the Seaweed Sustainability Index. Nicolas supports all projects looking to embrace seaweed’s long-term strategic and regenerative potential.


Rachel Howard

Rachel Howard has worked in academia researching in the disciplines of geomicrobiology, photophysiology, metal-ligand interactions, ocean chemistry, coral ecology and the carbon budget. She has worked in non-profits, think tanks and venture funds analyzing carbon credit markets, the full circle energy economy, and existential risk. She founded and ran a peer-to-peer fashion company in France. Her PhD research at Scripps (SIO) in marine biology included molecular microbiology, remote sensing and field work in the Black and Red Seas and her BSc in Botany included work with the Smithsonian and NYBG’s IEB in the neotropics and on tribal lands. She was the recipient of several academic awards, including NIH and DoD fellowships and collaborated with Rutgers, Hebrew University, SFSU, JPL at Caltech, OSU. She taught science at UCSD and the UC Davis Marine Lab. She is currently working in the area of ocean data. 

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