Seaweed has been identified as the latest answer to global climate change, and Churchill Fellow, Andrew Christian has competed his project to assist Australia to become well placed to be part of the journey.
Andrew report highlights the need for effective management of environmental impacts of large scale seaweed cultivation.
“Australia’s rich seaweed biodiversity and the access to pristine marine resources make it a great candidate to be a significant contributor to global seaweed production but this needs to be carefully managed.” said Andrew.
Andrew was awarded the Richard Rischbieth Churchill Fellowship to investigate seaweed cultivation practices to develop the commercialisation of a seaweed industry in Australia. He visited the USA, Canada and Ireland and gained significant knowledge of seaweed growing processes from hatchery through to grow out by meeting with seaweed grows and research organisations.
“The biggest learnings that Australia can take from the global seaweed industry is that we need to be innovative and willing to share knowledge,” said Andrew.
It was evident that a lack of collaboration in the seaweed growing industries he visited had stifled innovation in regard to techniques, growing equipment and materials.
“Australia needs to look at a joint effort from producers, scientists and government if it wants be successful in developing an economically viable seaweed industry.”
“Some seaweeds, in particular Asparagopsis is a low commodity product so Australia needs to be looking at low cost cultivation methods to be successful.”
With Andrews past experience working with land based aquaculture produces in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania he feels confident that seaweed will be an exciting new industry for coast communities in Australia.
Read Andrew’s report here.