“The current global market for seaweed products such as food, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, animal feed and fertiliser is estimated at over US$11 billion and is expected to double in value by 2025,” said Ms Kelly, CEO of the Australian Seaweed Institute.
“Australia has ideal growing conditions and a huge export opportunity for high-value bioproducts from native Australian seaweeds. And while there are a handful of entrepreneurs and researchers undertaking projects around Australia, there are no commercial scale seaweed ocean farms operating here and no strategic plan for industry development,” she added.
The Seaweed Industry Blueprint project is designed to unite existing seaweed research and aquaculture efforts into an action plan to accelerate investment and development. The project forms part of AgriFutures Australia’s Emerging Industries Program which is focused on identifying and supporting the emergence of agricultural industries that can reach, or exceed, a $10 million per annum threshold in the next five years.
AgriFutures Australia Senior Manager, Emerging Industries, Tom McCue said “seaweed is an exciting emerging industry in Australia and we’re focusing our RD&E efforts to support the industry due to its high growth potential and ability to make a valuable contribution to the national economy.”
Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) are also positive about the future of this industry. Managing Director Dr Patrick Hone said “there is enormous opportunity for macroalgae aquaculture and great value in developing the Blueprint. FRDC looks forward to working with AgriFutures and the Australian Seaweed Institute on the project and any future developments.”