Seaweeds are excellent absorbers of dissolved nutrients and with a global annual market for seaweeds for human food and other products worth $6 billion dollars and increasing, the potential to grow seaweeds and simultaneously reduce nutrients (and, therefore, algal mats) whilst contributing to the marine economy of the region is significant.
Currently more than 500 species of seaweed are collected and utilised by humans for a variety of reasons; food, extraction of chemicals, fertiliser, animal feed and bioenergy. The project partner Aleor is a global leader in seaweed aquaculture and will provide guidance for the other partners to assess the growth, productivity and biomass production using the four identified sites.
Novel methods for seaweed culture on intertidal mudflats of coastal regions is an important output from this area of work. Additional expertise from the seaweed industry end users via Aleor’s contacts will ensure that market requirements drive product development. Growing seaweeds within coastal intertidal regions has challenges, but with Aleor’s experience, the project will develop new techniques adapted for local intertidal conditions at each site.