Plan in place to support 1,200 jobs for the $100m seaweed industry

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AgriFutures Australia has released plans to expand the emerging seaweed industry into a $100 million sector supporting 1,200 full-time jobs in regional Australia.

AgriFutures has released the Australian Seaweed Blueprint Implementation Plan, which prioritises research, development and extension (RD&E) activities for the next four years.

The Implementation Plan builds on the landmark Australian Seaweed Industry Blueprint report published by AgriFutures in 2020, and incorporates new insights from stakeholder feedback on the industry’s most pressing challenges.

AgriFutures program manager, Dr Brenda Kranz said the Implementation Plan prioritised three key areas:

  • Leadership and Collaboration, including governance, policy and communications.
  • Production Capability and Scale, including the National Hatchery Network and Biosecurity.
  • Investment Innovation, including new products and technologies.

“Since the industry Blueprint was first released in 2020, AgriFutures has invested in a series of strategic RD&E projects to support industry achieving its goal of $100m in production by 2025,” said Dr Kranz.

“The plan now empowers the industry to take the next step in its growth with clear targeted priorities for future development activities.”

The plan was produced as part of AgriFutures Australia’s Emerging Industries Program, which focuses on new industries with high growth potential, including seaweed, and will be key to meeting changing global demands for agricultural products.

The plan has been released in time for this week’s International Seaweed Symposium (ISS) in Hobart, where report author Jo Kelly is speaking alongside Federal Member for Lyons, the Hon. Brian Mitchell MP, who is representing Minister for Agriculture Senator Murray Watt in promoting the Australian industry.

“With the eyes of the world’s leading seaweed experts and commercial producers on Australia this week, we have presented a clear plan for sustainable growth and the creation of a high-tech, high-value industry,” said Ms Kelly.

The plan outlines the major flagship initiative for the NHN to accelerate industry development.

“Industry has identified that a major impediment to production is capability and technology for production of large quantities of clean, native seedstock,” said Ms Kelly.

“A national hatchery network will facilitate knowledge development and skill transfer to get seaweed growers focused on expanding cultivation.”

The plan also recommends a review of pests, diseases and biosecurity challenges, as well as the need for a licensing toolkit to assist businesses in obtaining ocean leases and aquaculture permits and navigate state-specific legislation governing the industry.

“Aquaculture policy is highly variable between states and can present a significant roadblock to commercial development,” said Ms Kelly.

“The Plan outlines a pathway to achieving a national policy framework and facilitating states to create a progressive and risk appropriate regulatory environment that recognises the benefits of seaweed aquaculture to marine environments.”

To find out more on the seaweed industry visit, www.agrifutures.com.au/seaweed

[ENDS]

Media enquires:
Michael Thomson
AgriFutures Emerging Industries Extension Officer
m.thomson@cqu.edu.au | +61 408 819 666

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