Seaweeds, (also known as macroalgae), have great potential to become a nutritious and sustainable source of food and other products. Yet the seaweed farming industry will need a coordinated effort to ensure it can grow rapidly enough to meet consumer demand, contribute to climate change mitigation, and provide economic benefits to coastal communities.
The Algae Biomass Organization is committed to breaking down barriers that are keeping this kind of aquaculture from seeing the rapid expansion that will be needed, and we are coordinating our efforts across the value chain to bring together more voices and resources that can boost seaweed farming. Our most recent collaboration is with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on their project to advance seaweed farming for climate gains.
WWF views seaweed farming as a crucial component of conservation efforts. Growing seaweed requires no freshwater or land resources, which are already strained by ecosystem degradation and climate change. This advantage is compounded by the carbon sequestration potential of commercial seaweed farming, as well as an ability to mitigate ocean acidification that is attracting attention worldwide.
Research is ongoing in all these areas to refine the approaches that will work best at larger commercial scales while having the lowest environmental impact. Meanwhile, the seaweed industry is already attracting more investment from those that are committed to expanding a resource that can reliably provide several useful products and services, including food ingredients for humans, protein extracts, animal feed products, packaging and other materials.
Moreover, WWF’s team recognizes that sustainably expanding the seaweed industry can create new sources of income for coastal and fishing communities that are already seeing diminished catches because of overfishing and other ecosystem pressures.
As the seaweed farming sector gains more investment, learns new methods, and attracts the interest of communities across the world, collaboration between groups like WWF and ABO can accelerate a responsible growth trajectory that ensures this industry’s place in the economy of the future. We are excited to bring the expertise of these two organizations together. ABO and WWF are holding a session on industry needs for the analysis of seaweed biomass during the upcoming ABO Summit.
Learn more about WWF’s aquaculture program here: https://thefishsite.com/articles/restorative-aquaculture-how-wwf-is-charting-a-path-for-global-seaweed-growth
ABO’s partnership with WWF is part of an expanding collaboration at the algae industry’s trade organization. We also recently announced a partnership with Seaweed Hub, and welcomed new members such as GreenWave, Blue Evolution and Seagrove Kelp.
Ready to get involved in the seaweed farming revolution? Reach out to us!