how to become a seaweed farmer
For those looking to get started in seaweed farming,here are 5 easy steps to follow:Find a suitable location near the ocean and away from any pollution sources.Create an artificial coastline using rocks or sand.Spread out your seaweed seeds on top of the artificial coastline.Add water to your seaweed farm until it’s about three inches deep.Harvest your seaweeds once.
What is a seaweed farm?
Seaweed farms absorb nutrients and carbon dioxide to grow. The farms can help improve water quality and buffer the effects of ocean acidification in surrounding areas. For shellfish and finfish farmers, commercial fishermen, and first-time farmers, seaweed offers an opportunity to diversify a farming operation or start a new business.
How many seaweed farms can we scale up to?
Our goal is to scale up from one to 10 seaweed farms in the upcoming year. We need the support of individuals and businesses to realise this. The Seaweed Farmers stand for a fair price for CO2 compensation that is why we created our own calculator that will show your investment translated into the amount of C02 compensated.
Is seaweed a good crop to grow?
Seaweed as a Crop For shellfish and finfish farmers, commercial fishermen, and first-time farmers, seaweed offers an opportunity to diversify a farming operation or start a new business. Seaweeds use the entire water column.
Can seaweed help the Netherlands progress?
They help the Netherlands progress by asking the right questions or providing the right answers. This week Nikki Spil, Co-founder of The Seaweed Farmers, a seaweed farm has the word…. Seaweed cleans seawater and boosts biodiversity whilst enriching the water with oxygen and sucking up CO2.
What is the fastest growing aquaculture sector?
Seaweed farming is the fastest-growing aquaculture sector. For example, farmers in Alaska produced more than 112,000 pounds of sugar, ribbon, and bull kelp in 2019. That’s a 200 percent increase over the state’s first commercial harvest in 2017. The largest kelp farm in North America is located off southeastern Alaska.
What nutrients do seaweeds eat?
Seaweeds also gobble up nitrogen and phosphorus. In large quantities, these nutrients cause algal blooms that deplete the ocean of oxygen when they decompose. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus from stormwater runoff and point-sources are behind the dead zones that form in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay. Seaweed farms can help lower nutrient levels in nearby waters.
How do farmers grow seaweed?
Seaweeds use the entire water column. This means farmers can grow seaweed using a process known as vertical, or 3D, farming—and reap large harvests from a small area. Most seaweeds grow on longlines. (link is external) suspended around 4–8 feet below the surface throughout the winter.
Why are seaweeds important?
Seaweeds also act as a sponge soaking up what’s in the water. These marine plants could potentially be cultivated to reduce heavy metals and other coastal pollutants. Unlike in commercial seaweed farming, the seaweeds grown for this reason would never be eaten. Instead, communities and other stakeholders could establish seaweed farms in polluted areas with the sole aim of improving the health of coastal ecosystems.
Where is sugar kelp grown?
Scientists check a longline outplanting of sugar kelp at an experimental site near Coghlan Island, Alaska. Credit: University of Alaska/Mike Stekoll. U.S. seaweed farming has taken off in recent years, with dozens of farms in waters in New England, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska and more in production.
Can seaweed be eaten?
Unlike in commercial seaweed farm ing, the seaweeds grow n for this reason would never be eaten. Instead, communities and other stakeholders could establish seaweed farms in polluted areas with the sole aim of improving the health of coastal ecosystems. Last updated by Office of Communications on September 28, 2020.
Is seaweed farming still in development?
But the industry is still in a developmental stage. NOAA and our partners are investigating the siting requirements, designs, infrastructure, and best management practices. This work will help lead to more efficient permitting and allow seaweed farming to expand while also being economically and environmentally sustainable.
How does CO2 affect the pH of the ocean?
more CO2 in the ocean raises the acidity (lowers the pH) of the water. Over the past 150 years, the catastrophic rise in CO2 emissions has seen the acidity of oceans rise by 30 percent.
How does kelp help the water?
Kelp also grows 30 times faster than most land plants. By pulling CO2 from the water, kelp lowers the water’s acidity.
What are the microorganisms that make up the trophic pyramid?
Back to the trophic pyramid. At the very bottom of the pyramid we have tiny micro-organisms called phytoplankton (around 0.25 billion can fit in one cup of seawater) and other seaweed species, like kelp. Just like trees, kelp and phytoplankton pull CO2 from the atmosphere; trees pull carbon from the air and kelp pulls carbon from the water. Kelp and phytoplankton make up half of the world’s organic matter and produce at least half of the world’s oxygen. Kelp also grows 30 times faster than most land plants. By pulling CO2 from the water, kelp lowers the water’s acidity.
Where did Kinley find seaweed?
Kinley then joined the CSIRO and James Cook University in Australia, who were already testing the effects of seaweed on livestock nutrition. Kinley and his team found a specific strain of seaweed that grows off the coast of Queensland called Asparagopsis taxiformis.
How many meters underwater is Von Herzen’s MPA?
Von Herzen’s MPA is a kelp farm that sits around 25 metres underwater so that large boats and ocean liners can pass above with minimal impact — they can even withstand the force of the most severe hurricanes. At around 650m2, the farms are built using a lightweight lattice structure that is submerged and attached to buoys that rise and fall with the swell.
What is the role of the bottom rungs of the trophic pyramid in the ocean?
If we remind ourselves of the trophic pyramid, all sea life relies on the bottom rungs of the pyramid for food, therefore, if shellfish suffer, so do smaller fish, as do larger fish, as do seals, whales, sharks, birds and, of course, us (humans).
Is asparagopsis taxiformis commercially farmed?
Because Asparagopsis taxiformis doesn’t grow in abundance, and is yet to be commercially farmed, it could encounter scalability issues. But it still presents a powerful opportunity.
How much will it cost to start seaweed farming?
The amount of money necessary to start up a seaweed farm, depends on the size you have in mind. We suggest you start your farming activity with a small set-up. Just 320 or 480 lines. After some practice, it will be up to you to decide whether or not to expand your business. To give you a better idea of what you need to start your farm, in the following Tables 1 and 2, are listed the materials necessary to start a 320 and a 480 line seaweed farm and their costs. Some materials such as wooden posts or stakes, can be available to you at no cost if you decide to utilize mangrove or other bush timber, and obtain these yourself.
Who can help me to start and finance my seaweed farm?
The Fiji Government, through its various Ministries can help you a lot if you decide to start cultivating seaweed. The Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Primary Industries has staff based in numerous stations all over the country ready to come and see you. You can discuss with them your problems and they can suggest to you the best way to proceed. They can also help you to find some of the materials you need to start your farm, and most important, they can give you seaweed seeds free or address you to the closest seed supplier. They can give you technical advice and put you in touch with the seaweed buyers. It is really a great help. Do not hesitate to seek assistance from them.
How can I organize my work at the farm?
The amount of effort you need to put into farming seaweed, the number of people that you need to help you, and of course, the money you can earn from farming, depends on the size of your farm.
What should I do to maintain my farm?
To be a productive farmer, the seaweed farm should be well attended. This means that you constantly visit and check your farm.
How many lines are needed to start a seaweed farm?
Table 2. List of the essential materials necessary to set-up a seaweed farm of 320 lines or 480 lines in the simplest way; one line-two stakes. The total cost indicated, excludes the seaweed seed necessary to start farming.
What happens if you don’t keep seaweed clean?
If you do not keep your seaweed clean, other seaweeds will take away the nutrients necessary for your plants growth. As a result your plants will not grow very well.
What are the aids given to Fiji seaweed farmers?
Institutions such as the Fiji Development Bank, the New Zealand and Australian Embassies, United States Agency for International Development, have given in the past some assistance in terms of loans and grants to the Fiji seaweed farmers. The assistance is given in terms of materials you need (ropes, raffia, and in some cases small punts). Do not expect to receive cash.
Why do seaweeds grow?
They don’t grow passively. As they mature, seaweeds absorb nutrients from the water , including carbon and nitrogen from agricultural runoff or the burning of fossil fuels. In other words, seaweed is a superhero of the sea, tackling two main culprits: global warming and ocean acidification. By sucking up these nutrients, seaweed helps restore the pH level of the water, protecting biodiversity threatened by a changing climate. According to the Guardian, if seaweed farms covered just 9 percent of the world’s oceans, we could counteract all human carbon emissions.
How long is a license to farm seaweed good for?
A licence to farm seaweed is valid for five years after which it will need to be renewed.
What would happen if seaweed was dried?
If the seaweed was dried it would command a higher price but obviously there will be a cost in drying and transporting the seaweed. We can also help you find a buyer or sell it for you.
How can farming seaweed help the ocean?
By farming seaweeds, you will not only be helping mankind change it’s perception of this sustainable healthy food but you will also be helping the Oceans and marine life by providing habitat for them and helping remove carbon from the ocean while it grows.
What is the new cash crop?
The Humble algae is the hot new cash crop — and could be a surprising key to sustaining our growing population.
Is seaweed a superfood?
But the seaweed is also a nutrient-packed superfood that’s sustainable to grow — it requires no fresh water (an increasingly scarce resource as the planet approaches 11 billion people) and no chemical fertilizers. It also packs a protein- and nutrient-rich punch. “Kelp is the new kale. Watch out because it’s coming, and it will be everywhere in the next decade.”
Is owning a seaweed farm good?
Owning or part owning a seaweed farm is an exciting and financially rewarding business, not only will it give you a healthy return and income but you will be an active part of the new seaweed culture; changing the perception of seaweeds, providing healthy alternatives and sustainable foods for both humans and animals.
Why are seaweed farmers important?
We harvest seaweed for use as an organic fertiliser and bioplastics showing the value of seaweed as part of a circular economy. By growing seaweed we help filter and clean sea water, removing CO2 from the atmosphere and providing a wildlife haven for fishes and birdlife. The Seaweed Farmers is a foundation.
What is 100% of the investment in seaweed farms?
100% of the investment will go to the materials that make the farm: ropes, barrels, anchors and also for the seaweed spores. Once the farms are in the water they can be reused year on year. There are also personnel and transport costs associated with building, maintaining, harvesting and transporting the seaweed.
What does Mother Nature say about you?
From mother nature you get a big thank you but from us you will also get the chance to reduce your own carbon footprintand/or that of your company. We promise you it will feel good.
How does seaweed help the environment?
Seaweed cleans seawater and boosts biodiversity whilst enriching the water with oxygen and sucking up CO2. When Nikki Spil discovered the beauty of seaweed she did not hesitate to start The Seaweed Farmers and build the first seaweed farm in IJmond….
What do old friends do to clean the sea?
Each morning before work, they would go to the beach with their buckets and nets to clean up any rubbish or plastic they found.
Who is the founder of the Seaweed Farmers?
They help the Netherlands progress by asking the right questions or providing the right answers. This week Nikki Spil, Co-founder of The Seaweed Farmers, a seaweed farm has the word….
Who is Nikki Spil?
Nikki Spil is a regular speaker on this subject at local and national events across the Netherlands. If you would like to book Nikki for a future event give us a shout..
What species of seaweed do you use and for what purposes?
What’s most important to us is sustainability. Our seaweed is carefully hand-cut at peak growing seasons for the best quality and to ensure plants can regrow. Every year, we carry out impact monitoring surveys to make sure our harvesting techniques are sustainable. These surveys have been running since 2015, factoring in both seaweed and the diverse community of plants and animals in the habitat. Our wild harvesting is certified as organic by the Soil Association. All of our seaweed is carefully washed and dried. It is then milled and packed depending on customer needs. Dried seaweed has a long shelf life, allowing us to supply year-round to food manufacturers, ingredients suppliers and cosmetics producers.
What percentage is harvested from the wild and how much is cultivated?
At the moment, over 90 percent of our production is from wild harvest. We can harvest year-round because of the variety of species, carefully planning around tides and weather. It is feasible to produce significantly more from cultivation, but we have focused on piloting production to understand how to scale farms up to commercial operations. We expect cultivation to account for the majority of production in a few years’ time.
What are the biggest challenges for farming seaweed and why do you think it’s been slow to take off in the West?
The key challenge is achieving scaled , efficient production. This requires technical innovation to speed up operations at sea. There is also very little seed selection currently; improving yields and developing strains for specific components is the basis of all agriculture . Farming a wider range of species will also be beneficial, especially if we can extend the harvest season.
What are the biggest challenges in terms of growing a market for seaweed – both domestically and further afield?
Indeed, a lot of people don’t realise that the crispy seaweed served in Chinese restaurants in the UK is usually fried cabbage! One of our primary motivations for launching products under the Shore brand was to make it easier for people to eat seaweed, combining it with other healthy ingredients in familiar formats. Our focus is on the UK market, but we have also begun export to Europe and further afield.
Do you think politicians and state agencies are doing enough to support the seaweed sector?
Our company is grateful for the considerable assistance provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise since we started. We also recently secured funding through the Scottish Investment Bank to scale-up our operations and develop the brand. This support is because of the incredible potential for seaweed and the strong vision of the Shore team.
What are the applications of seaweed?
We are focused on producing high quality seaweed for food, but the applications for farmed seaweed include agriculture, chemical extraction, bioplastics and many more. It is important that clear specifications are developed for each of these markets.
When is the next seaweed aquaculture?
16 October 2020, at 9:00am. Seaweed aquaculture is on the cusp of a breakthrough in the UK, according to Peter Elbourne, managing director of supply and operations at the seaweed producing startup Shore. Peter Elbourne, managing director of supply and operations at the seaweed producing startup Shore. © Shore.