What can be done with seaweed, and why is a water utility so keen on farming it?
As a part of our innovation program, and in partnership with the Sunshine Coast University, we’re currently exploring options to farm seaweed in Moreton Bay, to assist the balance of nutrients in our waterways. Nutrients are naturally abundant in the environment but are also a by-product of human activity. They can enter our waterways through sediment, effluent from sewage treatment plants, and agricultural and industrial run-off.
Seaweed naturally feeds off these nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus. It’s also the largest marine crop in the world, but is not yet grown commercially in Australia. However, we’ve found that the Queensland coastline is the perfect setting for a new seaweed industry, with ample light, warm water, and state-of-the-art aquaculture facilities, partnered with smart industries.
Seaweed production in Moreton Bay has the potential to become an alternative nutrient offset in our waterway. This innovation aims to conduct the first Australian trial of seaweed production in Moreton Bay. If successful, this could lead to utilising aquaculture as an offset for nutrient releases to waterways.
You can read more information on Nick’s (Sunshine Coast University) seaweed study here.