Over the last few years, several lakes in The Netherlands have been experiencing problems related to excessive growth of pondweed. This overgrowth has led to severe problems for the municipalities surrounding the lakes, with a reducing number of visiting pleasure crafts. Some municipalities, including Hoorn, have made an attempt to tackle this problem by harvesting the pondweed. However, this comes at high financial and potential ecological costs, with the harvested pondweed simply being discarded. The municipality of Hoorn is therefore interested in a more sustainable solution.

Holland Bioceuticals, a company that strives to create solutions for sustainable livestock farming by developing natural animal health care products, have proposed that the pondweed could be used to produce such a product. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the reduction of veterinary antibiotics, as this is part of a global problem of increasing resistance to antibiotics. This has resulted in the increased development of natural animal health care products, based on algae and seaweed, such as the product that could be developed based on pondweed.

This project will investigate the feasibility, economic potential and ecological potential of developing a natural animal health product from pondweed while using Hoorn as a case study. This project will deliver a business case that includes all the information necessary to determine the feasibility of producing and selling a product made from pondweed harvested from Lake Marker.

Paula Metselaar

Guy Frankel

Nora Helal