This book constitutes the proceedings of the Fifteenth International Seaweed Symposium, held in Valdivia, Chile, in January 1995. About 420 delegates from 39 countries participated in the symposium. The 76 refereed papers, all of them reprinted from Hydrobiohgia (vols 326/327, 1996) cover a kaleidoscopic array of subjects. Useful additions are the list of participants, the subject index, the chemical components index, the taxonomic index, and the author index. Since its initiation in the late 1940s, the series of seaweed symposia has been strongly orientated towards applied research (with, however, a strong admixture of ‘pure’ research), and this aspect is still prominent in the 16th ISS: 39 of the 76 papers are application-orientated. The 76 papers have been arranged in 11 groups. Group 1 contains the five Plenary Lectures, of which two applied lectures are most informative. B. Santelices’ paper (‘Seaweed research and utilization in Chile: moving into a new phase’) reports on the recent commercial cultivation (beside gathering), and the recent introduction of industrial processing of seaweeds in Chile. H.J. Bixler, in his paper ‘Recent developments in manufacturing and marketing carrageenan’, presents a useful account of this area.