Sea Weed Is All Grown Up
The 24th International Seaweed Symposium will be held for the first time in Australia. It will take place in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia’s most southern state, from Sunday 19th to Friday 24th February 2023 Highlighting the 6 Billion dollar seaweed industry!
With International travel restrictions to Australia lifted many will be able to reach the official ground zero point for seaweed enthusiasts at the 24th ISS in Australia’s southernmost state, Tasmania. If you are not able to travel, online attendance and participation will be available. Clearly most people will ask “What's so great about seaweed?...And this is where you should prepare to be amazed, well maybe not amazed but at least enlightened. Because for seaweed fans it’s all about the aquaculture baby! Aquaculture is breeding, raising, and harvesting fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants. Basically, it's farming in water. Which is a lifesaver! Not the kind found on the Titanic, that’s a different sinking ship. No, the kind for the planet, especially starving human beings and greedy ones, who allowed GMO pushing corporations to do irreparable damage to a lot of plant species and farmland. Thankfully although they are working on it they still haven't destroyed the oceans yet.
As an edible ingredient, seaweed is often called a superfood. In terms of health benefits, it is packed with minerals and antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and B12. Dietary Fiber. Seaweed aids in digestive health and detoxifying. Alginate, a natural absorbent, binds to pollutants and toxins in your body and helps release them through your stool.More consumers are interested in nutritious plants and superfoods than ever before, so it's the perfect time to incorporate edible seaweed into your menu.Kelp is a type of brown seaweed that grows on the rocky shorelines of saltwater seas. It’s one of the largest types of seaweed and forms dense growths called kelp beds or kelp forests. A single kelp plant can grow over 200 feet in length. Another name for edible sea kelp is kombu
weed farming has taken off in recent years, with dozens of farms in waters in New England, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska and more in production. Farmers grow various types of seaweed—including dulse, bull kelp, ribbon kelp, and sugar kelp—that are used in sushi, salsas, sauces, salads, seasonings, and other food products. In Fact seaweed farming is the fastest-growing aquaculture sector in the world. For example, farmers in Alaska produced more than 300,000 pounds of sugar, ribbon, and bull kelp annually and it's a new and growing industry. But the industry is facing hardships due to climate change.
Seaweed farming is a huge global business valued at $6 billion, yet in the U.S. it is still getting its sea legs. Around New England there are perhaps 40 – 50 farmers of all sizes and experience levels working small ocean plots of a native kelp species, Saccharina latissima, right now, with Maine at the forefront of regional production.
In Massachusetts, there are a handful of farmers, primarily around the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard, pioneering kelp production in the Commonwealth. “We don’t know whether warmer waters will be a big problem for aquaculture,” says Jarrett Byrnes of UMass Boston. “Kelp is a winter crop, which could be advantageous…farmed kelp doesn’t have to survive the summer, kelp does well in water that’s 17 degrees C (62.5 F) and below. “Ocean warming might shorten the season for kelp farming in New England where it’s grown close to shore.” Massachusetts Seaweed farming is dwarfed by Maine where it has been a multi million dollar successful commercial asset for years! These “Sea Greens” of which ten species are commercially farmed in Maine are vital ingredients in everything from pudding and Ice Cream as thickeners to iron rich animal feed and fertilizers, not to mention pastas, spices and snack foods!
Tasmania is a global hotspot for seaweed diversity with 750 named species with many endemic species. In Tasmania there is a flourishing aquaculture industry, including Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture and Asparagopsis culture. With a strong tradition in research on seaweed ecology and physiology, focused on climate change and mitigation. Tasmania is also the gateway to the spectacular and diverse algal flora of mainland Australia. So for all the seaweed lovers out there get your tickets fast so Australia can welcome you to the 24th ISS Convention with the theme ‘Seaweeds in a changing world’, to focus on ongoing changes in seaweed aquaculture practices, industrial processing, future products and markets, local and global environmental change, and scientific advances that will change our understanding of how seaweeds function at all levels!