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Communities in Transition 

for Queensland Communities

Indigenous Artist - Roel Wijnants |

Lychees - CSIRO - Science Image - 2309

Lichen & street scene - Quest Media

Kelp / seaweed farms
Best practices for the emerging Australian Seaweed Industry, 2018, AgriFutures

The objective of the report is to deliver baseline information towards best practice standards and to guide the emerging industry on nutritional and food safety issues that will arise as the industry grows.

In addition it is useful as a reference for regulatory bodies who need to understand the legacy, benefits and risks of seaweed as a new food crop in Australia, when considering applications for novel or non-traditional food approvals.

Cultivated seaweed, 2017, Agrifultures

Overview, uses and production requirements for of seaweed farming in Australia

Researcher seeks to grow new Qld seaweed industry, 2017,University of Central Queensland

Seaweed aquaculture: an innovation platform for the Blue Economy, 2016, James Cook University


Dr Paul believes seaweed could be grown in commercial quantities in the sea, starting with seedlings tied in clusters to lines along the seabed. His team will investigate intensive culture methods, targeting high-value Australian native species and aiming to develop further land-based facilities to support offshore production.

Aboriginal uses of seaweeds in temperate Australia: an archival assessment, 2018, 

Ruth H. Thurstan, Zoё Brittain, David S. Jones, Elizabeth Cameron, Jennifer Dearnaley & Alecia Bellgrove

Journal of Applied Phycology, Vol 30, Iss 3, pp 1821–183

Australia is a global hotspot for seaweed biodiversity with a rich, diverse Indigenous history dating back 65,000 years, including an extensive traditional knowledge of Australian natural resources. Indigenous business activities and product creation, based around food, sustainable natural-fibre technologies and health. Such research also has the potential to enhance a developing Australian seaweed industry by guiding species selection, preparation, use and sustainable resource management. 

Case studies

Venus Shell Systems, NSW, Australia 

On the Shoalhaven River at Nowra in NSW, green seaweed is being grown at great rates using nutrient-rich agricultural wastewater from Shoalhaven Starches. The compnay cultivates premium, traceable and tailored seaweed biomass to create a rang e of nutraceutrical, pharmaceutical and food products from low-value, nutrient rich by-products. Venus Shell Systems seaweed gels are at the frontier of future biomaterials. 

Seaweed Energy Solutions (Europe) 

European company established in 2009 with a vision to enable large scale ocean farming of seaweed for the production of food, feed, biochemicals, energy and other valuable products. They have patented seaweed cultivation technology and extensive know how across the seaweed value chain. They have a dedicated, international team with backgrounds in biology, marine engineering, biotechnology and business, working on bringing innovative solutions to the seaweed industry. Their pilot farm in Norway is one of the largest seaweed farms in Europe.




Not just for sushi: The push to farm seaweed off Queensland's coast, ABC News

Seaweed could be farmed off Qld coast, SBS 

Eco-friendly seaweed business in Bomaderry set to boom, South Coast Register, NSW 


Eurobodalla ‘kelp lady’ to investigate local seaweed farming, About Regional

Kelp / seaweed harvesting

Tasmanian Marine Fisheries Policy Document, 2017, DPIPWE

The main components of this fishery are:

  • collection of cast bull kelp

  • harvesting of the introduced seaweed, Undaria

  • minor, single operations harvesting red and brown seaweeds and collecting cast seaweed from specific beaches around the State


Case studies

The two companies below grew out of a license issued by the Tasmanian Government to harvest an invasive seaweed species that was first introduced into the state's waters in the 1980s.

Kai Ho ‘Oceans Treasure’  (or Kai Ho Sea Vegetables), Tasmania (Food) 

Kai Ho Sea Vegetables Tasmania  harvests, processes and markets seaweeds for the edible market.  All  seaweeds are locally foraged and harvested sustainably. The principle product, Undaria pinnatifida, is an introduced invasive seaweed to Tasmania.

Marinova, Tasmania (Extract with applications for animal health, skincare, pharmaceutical and nutritional supplements)

The company specialises in the manufacture of fucoidan compounds derived from select brown seaweed species. These compounds are currently being exported to more than 25 countries. 

Kelp Industries Pty Ltd, King Island 

Kelp Industries Pty Ltd is a processing site for receiving, drying and milling stormcast Bull Kelp (Durvillea Pototorum) for local Australian customers and for export to Norway. Self employed suppliers hand select plants cast on the beaches from predominantly the west coast of the island, deliver them to the factory site using an assortment of utilities and trailers, trucks etc. After about two weeks the air-dried Kelp is fed into a wood fired drying system that evaporates sufficient of the residual water to render the Kelp storage-stable, and brittle for milling. 20kg bags are sold in the local domestic market however the majority of production is purchased by FMC Biopolymer who are one of the worlds largest producers of Alginates.



Seaweed industry expands to Limestone Coast with significant grant, The Lead (South Australia) 

Kelp / seaweed biofuel


Seaweed Farming as a Climate Resilient Strategy for Indian Coastal Waters, 2015, Zacharia.P.U., Kaladharan.P. & and Rojith.G., The International Conference on Integrating Climate, Crop, Ecology–The Emerging Areas of Agriculture, Horticulture, Livestock, Fishery, Forestry, Biodiversity and Policy Issues

The prospects of seaweed as a feedstock for biofuel production are reviewed throug h this paper.

Factsheet - Pros and Cons- Seaweed for biofuel,  2017, Bellona Europa 



Scientists Hope To Farm The Biofuel Of The Future In The Pacific Ocean, NPR

Two New Department of Energy Projects Want to Fuel Cars With Seaweed - We could grow enough to cover ten percent of our transportation fuel demand, Futurism

New Tech Could Turn Seaweed Into Biofuel, Oil Price

Turning Seaweed into the Fuel of the Future, Scientific American 

Yelp! 18 kelp wheps get $22M in ARPA-E help, Biofeul Digest 

Kelp / seaweed for soil amelioration / biochar

Biochar from commercially cultivated seaweed for soil amelioration, 2015, David A. Roberts, Nicholas A. PaulSymon A. DworjanynMichael I. Bird & Rocky de Nys Scientific Reports, Vol. 5, Article number: 9665, (James Cook University and University of the Sunshine Coast)

Blending of seaweed and ligno-cellulosic biochar could provide a soil ameliorant that combines a high fixed C content with a mineral-rich substrate to enhance crop productivity. Potential to use as a replacement for lime/gypsum mixers. Can be used for soil carbon. 




Kelp biochar: a potential plant substrate for freshwater aquaponics, Hatchery International 


Communities innovate to address Sargassum seaweed on coasts of Saint Lucia, Global Environmental Facility 

Kelp / seaweed for carbon dioxide mitigation


Carbon dioxide mitigation potential of seaweed aquaculture beds (SABs), 2017, Calvyn F. A. Sondak,  J Appl Phycol (2017) 29:2363–2373 (Monash and Deakin Universities) 

The use of SABs in potential carbon dioxide (CO2) mitigation efforts has been proposed with commercial seaweed production in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam, and is at a nascent stage in Australia and New Zealand. The paper considers the total annual potential of SABs to drawdown and fix anthropogenic CO2.

Can Seaweed Farming Play a Role in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation?, 2017, Carlos M. Duarte. Jiaping WuXi XiaoAnnette Bruhn & Dorte Krause-Jensen, The Pathway to Solutions: New Frontiers in Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation

The article outlines the potential to develop seaweed Blue Carbon Farming as a strategy for climate change mitigation and adaptation. We do so by first assessing the potential, based on wild and aquaculture production, and the pathways for this production to be managed as to result in avoidance of CO2 emissions while possibly generating climate change adaptation co-benefits. It then evaluate the role of seaweed aquaculture in adaptation to specific impacts of climate change in the marine environment, such as ocean acidification, deoxygenation, and shoreline erosion (e.g., Gattuso et al., 2015). Finally, it proposes a number of actions required to consolidate such program as a component of the pathway to solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Giant kelp ‘Blue carbon’ storage and sequestration value in the Falkland Islands, 2017, South Atlantic Environment Research Institute



Can seaweed save us from climate change?, Australia Geographic 


Role of kelp forests in mitigating climate change under threat, Pys Org (Uivsersity of Western Australia) 

CO2 mitigation
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