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Methane-busting seaweed supplement greenlit in Australia

SeaStock Pty Ltd, with support from researchers at Australia's Flinders University, has begun to sell a seaweed-based livestock supplement that can reduce enteric methane emissions by more than 90 percent.

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
16 March 2022, at 7:05am
red seaweed growing on a line
Red seaweeds are gaining more recognition for their ability to reduce methane emissions in livestock

© Rhodomaxx

Perth company SeaStock Pty Ltd has become Western Australia’s first licensee granted permission to commercially sell a native seaweed-based livestock feed supplement that drastically reduces methane.

Awarding of the licence from global patent-holder FutureFeed gives the company market access to sell Asparagopsis, a naturally occurring red seaweed, for processing into a supplement which reduces methane from ruminant livestock by more than 90 percent.

SeaStock Managing Director Mr Tom Puddy says the company’s research and commercialisation ambitions were strengthened by the licence agreement as interest in Asparagopsis grows globally.

“This is a huge milestone for SeaStock and WA, which is in the box seat to establish itself as a leading player in the burgeoning native seaweed industry,” Mr Puddy says.

“The science behind the methane-reducing power of Asparagopsis is strong and proven to achieve significant environmental benefits through reducing carbon emissions.

“Reducing methane in animal production enables meat and dairy producers to meet growing demand from low-carbon food consumers.”

Flinders University researchers, led by Professor of Aquaculture Jian Qin, will collaborate with the WA company on their production and processing techniques.

Granting of the licence makes SeaStock one of only three licensees in Australia and six globally, and was executed in record time from FutureFeed, which works with partners to deliver supply chain access.

red seaweed in a jar
The licence allows SeaStock to focus on sampling, cultivation and growth trials across multiple coastline sites

© Australian Seaweed Institute

The licence allows SeaStock to focus on sampling, cultivation and growth trials across multiple coastline sites from the Kimberley to WA’s South Coast while it undergoes further capital raising.

“There is a fantastic opportunity to create a value-adding bridge between aquaculture and general agriculture,” Mr Puddy says.

“An expansive marine environment, strong regulation and compliance, leading technical expertise and job creating revenue streams can set this industry on a sustainable growth trajectory.”

SeaStock is working on research and development-driven programmes in tandem with Australian universities and four regional Aboriginal corporations with access to suitable production areas off WA’s coast.

It has several advanced aquaculture lease agreements, including 300 hectares at the Abrolhos Islands, off and a growing list of industry offtake partners ready to participate in the supply chain once cultivation and processing of the supplement commences in 2022.

person holding red seaweed

© CH4 Global

The partnership with Flinders University began in early 2021 when SeaStock started scoping out an effective research, development and commercialisation strategy.

Since then, the team has worked on a feasibility study and has scoped a plan to deliver an effective technical solution for production, market entry and commercialisation by SeaStock.