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New course in growing algae

AUSTRALIA - Academics at the University of Tasmania's aquaculture school are teaching Australia's first course in the unusual skill of growing algae.

Micro-algae is the main food of shellfish, like oysters and mussels, and the course has attracted people involved in aquaculture industry from interstate as well as from Indonesia and New Zealand.

The course instructor, Chris Bolch, says for shellfish farmers, learning to make algae more effectively could save money for their business.

"About 40 percent of a hatchery's cost is involved in managing the growth of their food supply so that's a significant cost," Mr Bolch says.

"The majority of their costs is managing feed so knowing how to do that better makes them more efficient. It allows them to reduce their overheads and eventually I guess supply cheaper shellfish to their customers."

Source: ABC News