The Australian Seaweed Industry Blueprint

In early September, Agrifutures Australia released an Australian Seaweed Industry Blueprint – A Blueprint for Growth from the Australian Seaweeds Institute. The blueprint outlines plans for a $1.5 billion Australian seaweed industry that could employ 9,000 people and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent.

Seaweed offers a huge opportunity for the Australian blue economy with estimates of of the market reaching $30 billion by 2025. In the past, a key challenge has been the development of commercially focused research and strategy to ensure the growth of the industry. It highlights the need for expansion into ocean cultivation of native seaweeds, with an extension of kelp farming around fish farms. This farming will help to clean the water and simultaneously provide a revenue stream for aquaculture businesses across Southern Australia.

The Blue Economy CRC is playing an important role in this future strategy through the Seafood & Marine Products Program’s Kelp Aquaculture scoping study. The scoping study is currently looking at opportunities and priorities for future seaweed aquaculture projects. Through engagement with stakeholders such as industry, research and NGOs it aims to determine the need, opportunities and potential for seaweed aquaculture, including species to cultivate.

The study is two-fold.

Firstly, to review and identification of method for best hatchery conditions and cultivation techniques for priority seaweed such as bull kelp Durvillaea. Secondly, the likely effects of seaweeds, such as Durvillaea, on hydrodynamics around offshore/high energy structures.

This scoping study will inform a research plan for the commercial culture of seaweed to leverage the opportunity of Australian seaweed.

Additionally, the blueprint highlights the need for the development of offshore integrated food, energy and carbon sequestration platforms for sustainable food production, research which is also being undertaken across the CRC research programs.

Download the Australian Seaweed Industry blueprint or find out more about the Seafood & Marine Products Program‘s Kelp Aquaculture scoping study.