Sea6 Energy inaugurates seaweed farm in Indonesia; Simply Blue joins North Sea Farm 1 Project

The Sea6 seaweed farm in Lombok, Indonesia
The Sea6 Energy seaweed farm in Lombok, Indonesia | Photo courtesy of Sea6 Energy
4 Min

SeafoodSource is closely following seaweed innovation by compiling a regular round-up of updates from the sector.

- Lombok, Indonesia-based technology company Sea6 Energy launched a large-scale mechanized tropical seaweed farm off the coast of Ekas, Indonesia.

The farm is a 1-square-kilometer farm that aims to find use in large industrial applications, including biofertilizers and bioplastics, Sea6 Energy said in a release.  

"We are honored to inaugurate the world's first mechanized tropical sea farm – a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability in the ocean economy," Sea6 Energy CEO and Co-Founder Nelson Vadassery said.

Indonesian dignitaries, including Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut B. Pandjaitan, attended the farm's opening ceremony.

"The large-scale seaweed cultivation project in Lombok is a shining example of cooperation in the blue economy,” Indian Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste Sandeep Chakravorty said. “Greater investment in seaweed cultivation can meet the challenges of producing biodegradable industrial raw materials such as biofuels and bioplastics. Sea6's investments in Indonesia are creating local green jobs, developing skills, creating opportunities, and building a sustainable local economy."

- Simply Blue Group has joined the North Sea Farm 1 Project, which aims to develop an offshore wind farm and adjacent commercial-scale seaweed farm. In February 2023, Amazon signed on to support project, which will be positioned off the coast of the Netherlands in the North Sea, project coordinators said in a release.

“At Simply Blue Group, we want our marine projects to make a tangible difference, which is why we’re delighted to join this consortium,” Simply Blue Group CEO and Founder Hugh Kelly said. “We recognize that seaweed cultivation is a valuable tool in tackling climate change and supporting our oceans. We believe that in time, offshore wind farms will have multiple uses, with seaweed production being one of them. By joining NSF1, we are making the first step on that journey.”

The farm will initiate operation beginning in fall 2024, with its first harvest expected in spring 2025. 

Simply Blue is a blue economy project developer based in Cork, Ireland. Its subsidiary, Simply Blue Aquaculture, has a stake in Loch Long Salmon and a partnership with the Impact-9 offshore aquaculture technology firm. 

“We are delighted that Simply Blue Group has joined the consortium to help deliver this project,” North Sea Farm 1 Project Manager Eef Brouwers said. “Their expertise in aquaculture and offshore wind will be valuable in the successful execution of seaweed production in an offshore wind farm for the first time. The North Sea Farm 1 project aims to help the seaweed industry in scaling up within offshore wind farms and Simply Blue Group’s capabilities in both areas make them an ideal partner.”

- Researchers in the U.S. state of California have discovered the gene that allows marine algae to make a unique type chlorophyll, which, when implanted into a land-based plant, can offer farmers better crop yields on less land, according to UC Riverside News

“Marine algae produce half of all the oxygen we breathe, even more than plants on land. They feed huge food webs, including fish that get eaten by mammals and humans,” UC Riverside Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Tingting Xiang said. “Despite their global significance, we did not understand the genetic basis for the algae’s survival – until now.”

The study used tobacco plants but found that any land-based plant has the potential to develop and grow the marine algae gene.

“By unlocking the secrets of this key pigment, we're not only gaining insights into the lifeblood of marine ecosystems but also pioneering a path toward developing more robust crops and efficient biofuels,” UC Riverside Professor Robert Jinkerson said.

- Delft, the Netherlands-based biotechnology research company Veramaris secured Canadian authorization for using algal oil in aquafeed.

On 11 March, the company announced it secured the authorization after a three-year registration process, opening the market to its algal oil for the first time. 

"The Canadian registration of Veramaris's algal oil is key to supporting the rising global demand for alternative sources of omega-3 EPA and DHA. Securing authorization in Canada is an important step not only for Veramaris but also for the entire aquaculture industry," Veramaris CEO Gertjan de Koning said in a release.

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