Ouessant Island, An exceptional sourcing

Brittany is an infinite jewel box where more than 800 varieties of seaweed flourish. It is in these exceptional maritime gardens, covered and uncovered by the tide, that the seaweed used for our active ingredients develop.

Ouessant Island, the island of the open sea

From the Latin “Uxisama” meaning the “furthest island”, the island of Ouessant is located in the most western part of France, 20 kilometres off the headland of Brittany. Measuring 15 square kilometres, Ouessant Island has around 860 inhabitants and belongs to the Ponant Islands. It is surrounded by the Iroise Sea and is encrusted in the Atlantic Ocean like a precious stone. The Iroise Sea brings out the beauty of the coastal landscapes and is host to the largest marine algae field in Europe. The island of Ouessant is known as the jewel of the Iroise sea for the unique biodiversity of its flora and fauna.
Since 1988, Ouessant Island is classified by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve of the Iroise Islands and Sea along with two neighbouring islands. UNESCO’s biosphere reserves are zones covering terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems and come under the MAB (Man and Biosphere) programme, a worldwide intergovernmental scientific programme. It aims to create a scientific base for protecting biological diversity and improving relations between man and his environment in the long-term. Currently, 669 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are listed in 120 countries.

Unique know-how

Founded in 1994 in Kernigou on Ouessant Island, Algues & Mer is a company of the Solabia Group since 2016. The company specialises in the processing of organic fresh algae and in the extraction of marine polysaccharides, Fucoidans. Today, it has an isolated confined area for optimising finished product quality. Ultra-filtration or hydrolysis techniques are for example used to select
and concentrate the molecules. According to their molecular weight, fucoidans have various biological effects: anti-pollution, antioxidant, anti-redness, anti-inflammatory or even anti-ageing.

To produce the seaweed extracts, the company uses algae of different origins:

  • Wild: collection of fresh algae in the intertidal zone on foot, according to good harvesting and environmentally-friendly practices.
  • Farmed: plot of almost 5ha allocated off the coast of the island by the French government, after a positive judgment of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER).

It is in this environment that the algae concentrate their quality active ingredients. The algae extracts produced have various uses in the cosmetics, nutrition, or pharmaceutical industry.

Do not hesitate to visit the active ingredient pages of Invincity®, Essenc’Age® or SeaLight®.

CSR and sustainable development at the heart of our concerns

The company is the only company to harvest algae on the island. It is a driving force for the economic activity of Ouessant Island and regularly creates skilled jobs. With this outlook, it prevents desertification of the island and even contributes to island population growth.
Two people are certified all year round to harvest wild algae such as Ascophyllum nodosum on the island of Ouessant. When the tide goes out, it is the ideal time for collecting the algae in the intertidal zone. In order to protect the biodiversity of the island and following good shoreline algae harvesting practices, harvesting takes place in a reasonable, responsible and traditional manner. 3-yearly crop rotation is in place to guarantee optimal regeneration of the various species. It is carried out on foot to protect their environment. On the rocks, they are very carefully collected by hand, 30 cm from the root to enable immediate and rapid regrowth