On the 8th and 9th of February 2023, the first Seagriculture Conference Asia-Pacific took place online. Ever since 2012, the Seagriculture Conference has been organized in Europe. As the Asia-Pacific commercial seaweed market is expected to reach nearly 16 billion USD by 2029, this edition was dedicated to the Asia-Pacific countries.
On Wednesday the 8th of February, SEAWISER’s director and advisor Job Schipper joined the conference as part of a session on Smart Seaweed Farming. He discussed the essentials of scaling the opportunity of seaweed farming.
The essentials of scaling the opportunity
Over the last decade seaweed farming has been developing in Europe, the America’s and Australia / New Zealand. However, compared to Asia the acreages are still very small and the produced biomass too little to attract large industries. Scaling of the seaweed farms to a unit production of around 10.000 ton wet weight would reduce the cost price. This would make seaweed as a raw material much more interesting for industrial applications.
Several projects have been initiated to develop seaweed cultivation rigs which allow moving further offshore. Most elementary however, is the farm site selection. In this talk, Job Schipper reviewed recent scientific research work and complemented this with our team experience. Important selection criteria, such as bio-fouling and nutrient supply have been discussed with respect to cultivation approach and yield.