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Large-scale cultivation of algae in the ocean could save the climate but also feed the world's population, reports Belgian magazine Knack.
Editorial office / Trondheim

Algae absorb a lot of CO2 a emit oxygen, which is good for the climate. Also, feed based on algae instead of soya could almost completely eliminate methane emissions from cows. And algae production on just 2 per cent of the ocean would be enough to feed 12 billion people. In addition, algae are useful as an organic fertiliser, biofuel, sustainable substitute for plastic or ingredient in medicines and cosmetics.

Emission reduction

According to a November 2022 report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), seaweed can help industry achieve zero emissions. “Large-scale seaweed cultivation creates a powerful emission reduction opportunity. It can produce environmentally friendly and sustainable products and materials. And it creates jobs related to cultivation and harvesting, in biotechnology, engineering, plant support services and logistics – creating positive economic ripple effects,” BCG concludes.

In practice, however, only oil companies are in a position to create an offshore algae farm, Knack writes. Like Kelp Blue, which was founded by an ex-Shell top executive. The company will grow 70,000 ha of macrocystis (giant seaweed) in Namibia. According to the company, the giant kelp forests will attract some 200 species, which could lead to a 20 per cent increase in the fish population.

On 21 and 22 June, the 12th international seaweed conference Seagriculture EU will be held in Trondheim, Norway. Check the agenda for more information.

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