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Speakers announced for inaugural Seagriculture Asia-Pacific event

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Twenty-three leading seaweed experts have been confirmed as speakers at the inaugural online edition of “Seagriculture Asia-Pacific 2023”, which will take place on 8 and 9 February.

a flyer for an event
Brian von Herzen, from Climate Foundation, Australia will give one of the keynote presentations

The new edition will supply industry knowledge on seaweed topics for a region forecast to grow threefold – to a value of nearly $16 billion – by 2029, driven by increasing demand for seaweed in industries such as pharmaceuticals, personal care, agriculture, domestic, animal feed, and food and beverages.

Organised by DLG Benelux with partners, the new conference will cover industry topics relevant for the region, from seaweed farming and mechanisation to market trends and business development as well as breeding and disease management.

“With this new online edition Seagriculture Asia-Pacific, we are meeting the demand for more specialist knowledge in virtually every technical area of the seaweed supply chain in the region,” said Kuno Jacobs, managing director of DLG Benelux, in a press release.

Since its inception in 2012, the Seagriculture conference has taken place annually in key locations of the seaweed industry in Europe, adding North America last year.

"Due to an acute demand in North America for knowledge, we launched the Seagriculture conference in the US, which proved to be successful, bringing together experts from different parts of the world, honing in on regional issues. Seagriculture Asia-Pacific will be another such event that promotes the sharing of industry knowledge. We will be hosting the first event online, to enable participation in multiple time zones," added Jacobs.

Keynote speakers

Simon Funge-Smith, from the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO's) regional office for Asia and the Pacific, Thailand; and Brian von Herzen, from Climate Foundation, Australia will present an overview of seaweed production in Asia, including trade and social challenges, hurricane-proven offshore seaweed mariculture and deepwater irrigation as well as climate disruptions.

In the six session topics, ranging from smart farming technologies to seaweed nutraceuticals, 22 experts will explore the regional aspects of cultivation, processing, sales and business planning in kelp farming as well as technical trends and prospects for the future. Interactive discussions are an important part of all sessions over the two days. Topics 1-3 will be covered on 8 February, while topics 4-6 will be covered on 9 February

Session topic 1: Smart seaweed farming

Trends in seaweed farming, mechanisation, new technologies and smart farming are topics covered in the session, starting with Shrikumar Suryanarayan, Sea6 Energy, India, presenting farming tropical seaweed as a scalable and sustainable future industrial feedstock.

Job Schipper, SWD Connectors, the Netherlands, will discuss the scaling of seaweed farms, followed by Tran Dinh Luan, General Director of D-Fish, Vietnam, sharing his experience in seaweed farming. .

Session topic 2: Seaweed business/investment aspects

Focusing on the business development of seaweeds, Paul Dobbins, World Wildlife Fund, US; Koji Yamamoto, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Japan; and Karlotta Rieve, Hatch Blue, Norway, will be sharing insights and ideas on new markets for productive, scalable and responsible seaweed farming.

Session topic 3: Panel discussion: Current situation of seaweed in Asia-Pacific

Moderated by Fionnuala Quin, Kelpy - Seaweed Biopackaging, Australia the session’s three seaweed experts Maya Puspita, SELT Alga Indonesia and Indonesian Seaweed Association (ARLI); Jo Kelly, Australian Seaweed Institute, Australia; and Dr CRK Reddy, Institute of Chemical Technology, India, will be discussing the regional topics of cultivation permits acquisition, post-corona situation and health aspects of seaweeds.

Session topic 4: Seaweed breeding and disease aspects

Focusing on seaweed breeding and disease management, Scott Lindell, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, US will be presenting a selective breeding program to improve the productivity of sugar kelp. Dr Nita Rukminasari, Universitas Hasanuddin, Indonesia will present the modeling of tropical seaweed cultivation. Professor Michael Y Roleda will discuss current eucheumatoid research in the Philippines.

Session topic 5: Seaweed applications

From Australia, Rob Kinley, FutureFeed, Australia, will present evolution through the foundation story to the up-to-date status of Asparagopsis science. Professor Jang K Kim, Incheon National University, South Korea, will present carbon dioxide removal (CDR) capacities of marine macroalgae and potential applications of macroalgal biomass using case studies from Korea. Dr Pia Winberg, PhycoHealth and Venus Shell Systems, Australia, will present a range of nutritional profiles and biochemistry of seaweeds.

Session topic 6: Virtual seaweed tour around the world

Mitchell Lench, Founder of Ocean’s Balance, US; Stephanie Debels, SEACROPS, Belgium, professor Alejandro Buschmann, Universidad de Los Lagos, Chile; Josh Castle, Aboitiz Reimagine, Philippines; and Jorunn Skjermo, SINTEF,Norway will present what their organizations are doing to improve seaweed production, propose possible ways of cooperation or innovative solutions.

The new Seagriculture Asia-Pacific conference will be closed by professor Catriona Hurd, University of Tasmania, Australia and co-chair of the 24th International Seaweed Symposium organising committee.

Attendees to Seagriculture Asia-Pacific 2023 can register for the full two days (150 $), or for one of the two days (75$). The registration includes live-stream and access to all recordings and presentations after the conference.

Click here to register for Seagriculture Asia-Pacific

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