April 13, 2024

Unleashing the Power of Seaweed Farming for Food, Feed, and Fuel

Underwater split shot of the seaweed garden on the island of Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia. Credit: Dudarev Mikhail
A University of Queensland-led study has actually revealed that expanding global seaweed farming might go a long way to resolving the worlds food security, biodiversity loss, and climate modification obstacles.
PhD Candidate Scott Spillias, from UQs School of Earth and Environmental Science, said seaweed provided a sustainable alternative to land-based farming growth to satisfy the worlds growing need for food and materials.
” Seaweed has terrific commercial and environmental potential as a healthy food and a structure block for business items including animal feed, plastics, fibers, diesel, and ethanol,” Mr. Spillias said.

” Our research study discovered that expanding seaweed farming could help minimize demand for terrestrial crops and decrease international agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by as much as 2.6 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent annually.”
Researchers mapped the potential of farming more of the 34 commercially essential seaweed species utilizing the Global Biosphere Management Model. They estimated the ecological advantages of a variety of situations based upon land-use modifications, GHG emissions, water and fertilizer use, and forecasted changes in species presence by 2050.
” In one scenario where we replaced 10 percent of human diets worldwide with seaweed products, the advancement of 110 million hectares of land for farming might be avoided,” Mr Spillias said.
” We likewise determined countless available hectares of ocean within international exclusive economic zones [1] (EEZs), where farming might be established.
” The biggest share of appropriate ocean remained in the Indonesian EEZ, where approximately 114 million hectares is estimated to be ideal for seaweed farming.
” The Australian EEZ also reveals terrific possible and species diversity, with at least 22 commercially viable species and an estimated 75 million hectares of ocean being appropriate.”
Mr. Spillias said lots of native types of seaweed in Australian waters had actually not yet been studied from an industrial production perspective.
” The way I like to look at this is to consider ancestral versions of daily crops– like corn and wheat– which were uninspiring, weedy things,” he said. “Through countless years of reproducing we have developed the staple crops that underpin contemporary societies and seaweed might extremely well hold similar capacity in the future.”
UQ study partner Professor Eve McDonald-Madden said the seaweed option would have to be carried out with care, to prevent displacing issues from the land to the ocean.
” Our study points out what could be done to address some of the installing problems of international sustainability facing us, but it cant be implemented without working out extreme care,” she stated.
This research will be published today (January 26, 2023) in the journal Nature Sustainability.
Referral: 26 January 2023, Nature Sustainability.DOI: 10.1038/ s41893-022-01043-y.
The University of Queensland (UQ) acknowledges the collaborative efforts of scientists from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, CSIRO, and the University of Tasmania.

An area of the sea in which a sovereign state has unique rights concerning the exploration and use of marine resources, consisting of energy production from water and wind.