"An area of ocean almost the size of Australia could support commercial seaweed
farming around the world, providing food for humans, feed supplements for
cattle, and alternative fuels, according to new research.
Seaweed farming is a nascent industry globally but the research says if it
could grow to constitute 10% of human diets by 2050 it could reduce the amount
of land needed for food by 110m hectares (272m acres) – an area twice the size
But the authors of the research said there are a range of potential negative
impacts on marine life that will need to be balanced with the benefits of a
global seaweed farming industry.
The study looked at 34 seaweed species and where they could feasibly grow and
then narrowed this down to places with calm enough waters and close enough to
populations where farms could be established.
About 650m hectares (1,606m acres) was identified as plausible for seaweed
farming, with the largest areas in Indonesia and Australia which both have
large ocean regions under their economic control.
“Cultivating seaweeds for food, feed and fuel within even a fraction of the
650m hectares of suitable ocean could have profound benefits to land use,
emissions reduction, water and fertiliser use,” the authors wrote."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics