Seagriculture EU
29 - 30 June 2022
Bremerhaven, Germany

Substrate matters: improved kelp growth with novel substrates

David Aldridge, Seedling Production Manager, Seaweed Solutions, NO

About the speaker:

With a background in biological oceanography and phytoplankton ecology, David joined Seaweed Solutions AS in 2017 to support the company’s hatchery R&D and production. He is now responsible for producing seedlings, both for deployment at the company's sea farm and for external customers. He is also responsible for R&D related to seedling production and for continuously refining and improving the company’s seeding protocols. David has a PhD in Biological Oceanography from The University of Southampton (UK).

Company info:Seaweed Solutions AS is one of Europe’s seaweed pioneers and was the first company in Norway to start farming seaweed. Since 2009, the company has invested significantly in R&D across the seaweed value chain including both biology, marine technology and processing. The company operates a flagship farm at Frøya, Norway and offers a scalable supply of high quality seaweed in bulk (B2B) to food, feed and other markets as well as supplying seeds to other farmers. With a vision to enable large scale seaweed farming in Europe, the company continues to take an active part in innovation activities through its own R&D and through partnerships.

For kelp farming in Europe to be economically feasible it is critical that harvestable biomass is maximised and that seeding at the nursery phase is highly efficient, dependable and predictable: with successful early growth that can be repeated year after year. Here we present data from trials of state-of-the-art substrates, developed by and in partnership with WL Gore, that offer promising growth benefits to kelp seedlings. We will discuss data from carefully controlled trials in our nursey, which suggest that these substrates offer an early advantage to kelp seedlings at this critical phase of production. We will also present results from sea trials that are scheduled to conclude during the spring of 2022, with early signs suggesting that the initial benefits we have seen in the nursery are likely to result in higher yields at harvest.