Transforming UK offshore marine algae biomass production

Led by SeaGrown Limited

Seaweed is among the fastest growing sources of biomass on Earth. It benefits the marine environment by supplying a variety of ecosystem services – oxygenating seawater, removing excess nutrients and providing a habitat for marine life. Seaweed stores 2-3 times more carbon from the atmosphere than woodland, providing potential for it to contribute towards the UK’s net zero targets. However, the current state of the art in seaweed farming limits biomass production because it is expensive, time consuming, labour-intensive and failure-prone, especially in offshore waters.

Scarborough-based SeaGrown operates a 25-hectare offshore seaweed farm in the North Sea off the Yorkshire Coast. This project seeks to apply SeaGrown’s experience in pioneering this new sector to create an innovative, automated end-to-end seaweed farming system. This innovative system will open up the seaweed industry to year-round production, open-water sites and greater assurance of optimal biomass yields.

The project aims to enable a transformational change from cottage industry to a major source of sustainable bulk biomass from the ocean, positioning the UK to lead the way in European seaweed farming and develop a national Blue Carbon capability. The team is ideally placed to deliver this project. SeaGrown already works successfully in the offshore environment, operates its own seaweed farming vessels with experienced crew, seaweed hatchery and licensed offshore area. The team also includes experts in hydraulic engineering, marine offshore engineering, seaweed hatcheries, and management and commercialisation of complex marine projects.

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