Why Seaweed

A vast opportunity

Seaweed is probably one of the largest unexploited resources on the planet. Seaweed farming presents a sustainable and renewable source of biomass to meet demands of a growing population, under the pressures of climate change, overfishing and expanding industries.

98% of our food energy comes from agriculture on land. Yet seaweeds grow faster than any land plant, and whilst they do, they provide several benefits to the environment. 70% of the world’s surface is covered by ocean and vast coastal areas present a huge potential in farming the ocean for biomass, with no conflict in land area use, no need for freshwater, fertilizers or pesticides.

Seaweeds convert sunlight energy into chemical energy and are a source for several important applications, presently worth approx. 8 billion USD worldwide (primarily from production in Asia, 95%). There is a rapidly increasing demand for seaweed biomass for high value applications within food and health products (nutraceuticals), cosmetics and animal feed markets, and as seaweed cultivation grows in Europe, so do the opportunities for new and exciting applications.

Seaweed can be cultivated in a controlled manner at a large scale, as has been proven in Asia (30 million ton cultivated per year). In Europe, technological advances can replace high labour costs and help turn seaweed cultivation into a viable commercial reality.

To learn more about the production cycle of kelp, click here.

 

Environmental Benefits:

  • Renewable biomass and fast growth
  • CO2 uptake and storage
  • Increased biodiversity and dissolved oxygen in the sea
  • Increased fish stocks in vicinity of farms
  • Biofilter ability (bioremediation)
  • Assist in reducing coastal eutrophication and improve water quality
  • IMTA – Integrated aquaculture for cleaner waters and improved resource utilization
  • Seaforestation – planting artificial seaweed forests for the benefit of the environment
  • Help mitigate climate change and ocean acidification (through large scale cultivation)

 

Photo taken at SES' Pilot farm, Frøya. © Seaweed Energy Solutions AS.