Harnessing the Power of Seaweed: The Miracle Crop

TUE, MAY 17, 2022 (1:03:49)

Seaweed often gets a bad rap – maybe it just has the wrong name! Many regard it as a nuisance – slimy, smelly stuff that mars our beaches, entangles us while swimming and not good for much, except of course making sushi. But an increasing number of marine scientists, ecologists, entrepreneurs and foodies are beginning to appreciate seaweed’s remarkable properties.

The benefits of seaweed are enormous and we are only starting to explore its myriad applications, from farming to pharmaceuticals, from food to packaging. Some species can take CO2 out of the atmosphere at 5 x the rate of land-based plants, and in addition to being a sustainable food source for humans and animals, it is one of the fastest growing plants. Nori provides more protein than soy, more vitamin C than orange juice and it is full of Omega 3s, iodine, zinc and magnesium – and it doesn’t require agro-chemicals, fertilizer or antibiotics! Seaweed has been called the miracle crop because it can be cultivated easily, protects the planets by trapping carbon, it provides many foodstuffs, supplies jobs and generally does good.

Of course, in some parts of the world, like Ireland, farmers have been cultivating seaweed as an animal food and fertilizer for centuries. Our Forum will talk to experts around the world about why they are so excited about algae and how they became involved in this huge field of sustainable seaweed aquaculture.

Please join our discussion with Dr. Stefan Kraan, a Dutch marine biologist and founder of the The Seaweed Company in Galway, Ireland who specializes in high-quality, seaweed products that he produces in Ireland, India, Morocco and the Netherlands.
Sean Barrett is the founder of Dock to Dish, an expansive network of small-scale community-based fishery programs, as well as The Montauk Seaweed Supply Company in Long Island. Sean is currently pioneering a “sea to soil” movement to revive an ancient symbiotic relationship between regional gardens, farmlands and local oceans through the cultivation of macroalgae, such as sugar kelp, which he converts into fertilizer and livestock feed.
Vincent Doumeizel is Senior Advisor for the UN Global Compact, Head of the Safe Seaweed Coalition and director of the food program at Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Image credit : Pexels

Resources

Article from The Guardian about Seaweed Farming in NY

+ BIO: Dr. Stefan Kraan

Science driven entrepeneur. Born in The Netherlands he graduated with a M.Sc. degree in Marine Biology at National University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He moved to Ireland to pursue a PhD on phylogenetics and aquaculture of edible seaweeds at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 1998. He became manager of the Irish Seaweed Industry Organisation in 1998 and finished his PhD in 2001. He established the Irish Seaweed Centre in 2001, a dedicated R&D centre for seaweed-based research and development, which was launched in 2001.

After managing the seaweed centre for 9 years, Dr Kraan resigned from University life in 2009 to pursue and develop some commercial ideas using seaweeds for a variety of purposes amongst them functional food ingredients for fish farming and novel algae cultivation systems for biofuel production. Dr Kraan co-founded Ocean Harvest Technology Ltd, a company that has produced Oceanfeed™, a seaweed based functional feed ingredient for the fish farming industry and other aquaculture industries. He is currently CSO of The Seaweed Company, a company that develops large scale seaweed cultivation to produce biomass for a variety of applications. Dr Kraan’s main fields of expertise are aquaculture of seaweeds, sustainable development of algal resources, industrial applications of seaweeds and usage of seaweeds in aquaculture, biotechnology and biomedicine.

Source: LinkedIn https://ie.linkedin.com/in/stefan-kraan-7603827

+ BIO: Sean Barrett

Sean Barrett is the founder of Dock to Dish, an expansive network of small-scale community-based fishery programs, as well as The Montauk Seaweed Supply Company in Long Island. Sean is currently pioneering a “sea to soil” movement to revive an ancient symbiotic relationship between regional gardens, farmlands and local oceans through the cultivation of macroalgae, such as sugar kelp, which he converts into fertilizer and livestock feed.

+ BIO: Vincent Doumeizel

Vincent Doumeizel is Senior Adviser at United Nations Global Compact on Oceans as well as director for the Food Programme for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Vincent leads the charitable objectives of the Foundation through the funding of innovative projects to drive safety in the food supply chain.

Partnering with UN, FAO, The World Bank, WWF, Universities, NGO’s and large brands, Vincent led and released the “Seaweed Manifesto” in a call to scale up the seaweed industry in order to address some of the world most important challenges (hunger, global warming, pollution, poverty etc..).

Vincent is part of the expert panel to define and drive the algae strategy at the European Commission and also part of the Food Safety expert panel to prepare the next UN Food System Summit.

Partner
Cambridge Forum
Recommended Lectures

9.6.2022 (1:06:28)

Tyrants on Twitter

6.28.2022 (1:01:03)

Much Ado About Mushrooms

5.31.2022 (1:03:18)

Legacies of Slavery