Seaweed Farming / Marine Permaculture
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food, feed, fertilizer, fiber, fueltitleL 5990 - Ultimately, floating kelp forests could provide food, feed, fertilizer, fiber, & biofuels to most of the world.
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Can seaweed can be all these thingssubtitleL. 6,022 Kelp harvests can produce food, fish feed, fertilizer (including nitrate, phosphate, & potash), & biofuels.

The magic is believed to be in the growth-regulating hormones found in seaweed – auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins – as well as alginates (and other beneficial compounds), which improve the soil.

Seaweed extract is used as a foliar spray, application to soil and for soaking of seeds before sowing. It enhances the germination of seeds, increases uptake of plant nutrients, and gives resistance to frost and fungal diseases. Seaweed extract is effective for ripening of fruits, increasing shelf-life of the produce, improves the quality of produce, and serves as an excellent soil conditioner.
Journal of scientific and industrial research
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281477200_Seaweeds_As_a_Biofertilizer
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- and tackle our CO2 problems.subtitleThese floating kelp forests could not only tackle our CO2 emissions, but could also provide the world with a viable renewable fuel, enormous amounts of food and literally breathe new life into our suffering oceans.Matters Journalhttps://mattersjournal.com/stories/seaweedfarming
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sea trees
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Seaweed absorbs at least as much CO2 as trees, but without taking up valuable land. A rough estimate suggests that macroalgae could sequester about 173 TgC yr−1 (with a range of 61–268 TgC yr−1) globally

we estimate a total forest sink of 2.4 ± 0.4 petagrams of carbon per year

they form the most widespread and productive marine forests in the global coastal ocean, estimated to cover about 3.4 million square kilometres

the world’s forest area decreased from 31.6 percent of the global land area to 30.6 percent between 1990 and 2015

127,343,220.031 sq km - global land area
Nature Geoscience
Science
Science Nordic
FAO
https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2790
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/333/6045/988
http://sciencenordic.com/marine-forests-natures-own-carbon-capture-and-storage
http://www.fao.org/state-of-forests/en/
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ag.lnd.totl.k2
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A dry tonne of kelp absorbs about a tonne of CO2 in its lifetime.
A dry tonne of kelp absorbs about a tonne of CO2 in its lifetime.DrawdownL. 6,825
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ultra fast growing
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Kelp seaweed grows incredibly quickly - it's one of the fastest growing plants in nature.L. 5,991 They grow many times faster than trees or bamboo.DrawdownL. 5,991
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Up to 60cm per day!L. 6,827 seaweed is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world;DrawdownL. 6,827
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So fast, it could be harvested every 90 daysThe plants are harvested after about 90 days, when they have grown to 30 cm.FAOhttp://www.fao.org/3/y4765e/y4765e0b.htm
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kelp50-60cm per day in ideal conditionsMonterey Bay Aquarium
NPS
Earth Observatory
https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/plants-and-algae/giant-kelp
https://www.nps.gov/glba/learn/nature/kelp-forest.htm
https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/85105/kelp-losing-their-grip-on-the-seafloor
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bamboo33238 cm per year, 332m per year, 90cm a dayPlos Onehttps://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078944
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algae12 inches per week, 30cm per week, 4.2cm per dayBBChttp://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zybbtyc
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hybrid poplar10 feet per year, 304cm per year, 0.8 cm per dayBBChttp://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zybbtyc
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duckweed
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acacia30 feet per year, 914cm, 2.5cm per dayEarthnWorldhttps://earthnworld.com/fastest-growing-plants-trees-in-the-world/
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kudzu12 inches per day, 30 cm per dayEarthnWorldhttps://earthnworld.com/fastest-growing-plants-trees-in-the-world/
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EarthnWorldhttps://earthnworld.com/fastest-growing-plants-trees-in-the-world/
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biofertilizer
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Seaweed contains powerful growth-stimulating hormones. They stimulate seed germination and nutrient uptake while protecting plants from infections.
The magic is believed to be in the growth-regulating hormones found in seaweed – auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins – as well as alginates (and other beneficial compounds), which improve the soil.

Seaweed extract is used as a foliar spray, application to soil and for soaking of seeds before sowing. It enhances the germination of seeds, increases uptake of plant nutrients, and gives resistance to frost and fungal diseases. Seaweed extract is effective for ripening of fruits, increasing shelf-life of the produce, improves the quality of produce, and serves as an excellent soil conditioner.
Journal of Scientific and Industrial Researchhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/281477200_Seaweeds_As_a_Biofertilizer
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100% sustainable, carbon-negative crop
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Ocean seaweed farms have none of the major downsides of land farming.L. 6,824 because ocean farms require no fresh water, no deforestation, and no fertilizer-all significant downsides to land-based farming-they promise to be more sustainable than the most environmentally sensitive traditional farms. DrawdownL. 6,847
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: deforestation
: fertilisers
: fresh water
: fuel-burning machinery
L. 6,847 unlike land-based biofuel crops, seaweed farming does not require fertilizers, forest clearing, water, or heavy use of fuel-burning machinery; as a result, DrawdownL. 6,824
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And because they grow vertically, they use less spaceAnd because they can use the entire water column vertically, they have a small footprint, high yield, and low aesthetic impact.DrawdownL. 6,824
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attracting acquatic life, boosting the ecosystem.
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They sit 25m underwater so boats can pass above.Von Herzen’s MPA is a kelp farm that sits around 25 metres underwater so that large boats and ocean liners can pass above with minimal impact — they can even withstand the force of the most severe hurricanes. At around 650m2, the farms are built using a lightweight lattice structure that is submerged and attached to buoys that rise and fall with the swell.Matters Journalhttps://mattersjournal.com/stories/seaweedfarming
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Harvesting is simple and often done by hand, using very little CO2 burning fuelit has a negative carbon footprint, according to the World Bank.

Done largely by hand. In 2002 it was considered uneconomical to develop the tech to do it mechanically. Last year, a company that wanted to do it mechanically in Scotland (where hand labour is too expensive) was told no for environmental reasons.

Some fossil fuel emissions involved in transporting the seaweed that's harvested. But on balance, doubtful that it would outweigh the net carbon sinks.
The Atlantic
World Bank
National Geographic
BBC
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/11/the-coming-green-wave-ocean-farming-to-fight-climate-change/248750/
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/947831469090666344/pdf/107147-WP-REVISED-Seaweed-Aquaculture-Web.pdf
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/source-of-half-earth-s-oxygen-gets-little-credit/
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-45763706
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The first seaweed farms are currently in trials off the coast of Hawaii
Marine Permaculture Arrays
Von Herzen has a PhD in computer science and has been developing ways in which we can naturally sequester carbon from the atmosphere since his tenure at Princeton University in the 80s. More recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded his work into a land-based carbon sequestration model for developing nations and the early stages of the MPA infrastructure has been trialled with terrific success off the coast of Hawaii. His not-for-profit, the Climate Foundation, has carbon sequestration projects all around the world, both underwater and on land.
Matters Journalhttp://www.thedrawdownagenda.com/episode-8-marine-permaculture-brian-von-herzen/
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the seafood diet
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Widespread seaweed farms could supply very high-quality, high-nutrient food.L. 6,823 seaweed farms have the capacity to grow massive amounts of nutrient-rich food. Drawdown
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Great sources of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and iodine.SEAWEED ON AVERAGE
Extremely high: iron (higher than most foods)
Very high:
: calcium (better than spinach)

: sodium (similar to cheese, more than cow’s milk)
: iodine (as good as nuts)
High: 

: fibre (same as lentils)

: magnesium (similar to nuts)
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: copper (2x most foods)
Good:
: potassium (more than bananas)
: zinc (more than spinach)
Low: carbohydrate


Fibre, Calcium: Norwegian Kelp
Potassium: Oarweed, Thongweed
Magnesium: Irish moss, Oarweed
Sodium: Irish moss, Norwegian Kelp
Copper: Norwegian Kelp
Iron: Oarweed, Grass Kelp
Iodine: Grass Kelp
Nutrition Reviews
Nutrition Value
https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-abstract/65/12/535/1903132?redirectedFrom=PDF
https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Apples%2C_with_skin%2C_raw_nutritional_value.html
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Plus it's very tasty!Not only is kelp great for the ocean, it’s great in miso soup and sushi would be quite bland without it (the global kelp market is estimated to be worth over $5 billion).
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fuel for thoughtFuel
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About 50% of seaweed is oil, perfect for making biofuel for vehicles & machineryL. 6,847 about 50% of seaweed’s weight is oil, which can be used to make biodiesel for cars, trucks, and airplanes. Drawdown
World Bank
L. 6,847
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/947831469090666344/pdf/107147-WP-REVISED-Seaweed-Aquaculture-Web.pdf
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Seaweed can create 30x more energy per acre than other biofuel crops like soybeans.L. 6,848 The DOE estimates that seaweed biofuel can yield up to 30 times more energy per acre than land crops such as soybeans.
"algae is highly efficient and can produce between 10 and 100 times more oil per acre as compared with traditional oil crops (e.g., oil palm), while it can grow 20–30 times faster than food crops"
Biotechnology Reports
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5374254/#bib0170
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032110003059
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And you don't need to clear forests to grow it.
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If we wanted to switch all petrol in the world for seaweed biofuel, we'd need 1.92M km2 of seaweed (21% of US land area,3x size of Texas, 54% of fertile ocean).2. Land required for microalgal cultivation to meet projected 2016 total global liquid fuel demand of ~96 million bbl/d (International Energy Agency, 2016), assuming the same fuel productivity of 0.50 bbl/ha . d would be 96 million bbl/d × (1/0.50 bbl/ha . d) = 192 million ha = 1.92 million km2. This corresponds to ~21% of US land area, slightly less than three times the size of Texas.
Oceanographyhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/309763240_Marine_Microalgae_Climate_Energy_and_Food_Security_from_the_Sea
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or just the US's demand for petrol - 392,000km2 (4% of US land area, just over half the size of Texas, 11% of fertile ocean)1. Land required for microalgal cultivation to meet projected 2016 total US liquid fuel demand of ~19.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d; US Energy Information Administration, 2016), assuming a fuel productivity of 0.50 bbl/ha . d, would be 19.6 million bbl/d × (1/0.50 bbl/ha . d) = 39.2 million ha = 392,000 km2. This corresponds to ~4% of US land area (9,148,593 km2), just over half the size of Texas (676,587 km2). This fuel productivity of 0.50 bbl/ha . d is the average between a microalgal cultivation process pathway optimizing fuel production (0.64 bbl/ha . d) and one optimizing food production (0.35 bbl/ha . d).Oceanographyhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/309763240_Marine_Microalgae_Climate_Energy_and_Food_Security_from_the_Sea
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Bio-methane (aka renewable natural gas) can also be made from biodegrading seaweed. It doesn't increase emissions because its using gas that would've been emitted by decomposing seaweed anyway.We can also turn it into bio-methane, a viable alternative to burning fossil fuels,

"Unlike the conventional sources of energy, the use of biomethane does not increase the concentration of greenhouse gases because carbon dioxide and other gases that create the greenhouse effect are released into the atmosphere anyway during the decomposition process of organic matter."

"An optimal seaweed biomethane system can achieve 70% savings in GHG emissions as compared to gasoline with high yields per hectare, optimum seaweed composition and proper digestate management."
ADFC
Applied Energy
https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/natural_gas_renewable.html
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261917303768
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livestock feedSeaweed & Cows
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Seaweed has been used as a feed for livestock for thousands of years.L. 6,743 From ancient Greece to Iceland, seaweeds have been used as livestock feed for thousands of years—especially in winter, when forage is sparse.Drawdown
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There's evidence that cattle feeds made from seaweed reduce the methane expelled from both ends of the animal (90% is burps)L. 6,748 The result is methane waste expelled from both ends of the animals - 90% through burpsDrawdown
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25% of the world's methane emissions come from the billions of cows, sheep & goats reared around the world. Methane pollution o gram - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gC9-Yas03y9_CI0-HeCJ0S9nDwwVhWxdsPTXYytS3IE/edit#gid=990459084With more than 1.4 billions cows and nearly 1.9 billion sheep and goats inhabiting the planet today,

Around the world, these small discharges add up to 39% of all emissions from global livestock production and a quarter of the world’s methane pollution.
NASA
Carbon Brief
https://icp.giss.nasa.gov/education/methane/intro/cycle.html
https://www.carbonbrief.org/what-do-squirrels-beavers-and-reindeer-have-to-do-with-methane-emissions
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In on-going studies (yet to be published), cows fed limu kohu seaweed have seen their methane emissions drop between 12-58%.L. 6,754 In the artificial rumen, Asparagopsis taxiformis reduced methane production by 99%-and required a dose of just 2% of feed to do so.

L. 6,743 Methane, the key waste product generated when cows process their food, dropped by 12% on Dorgan’s diet.

L. 6,749 researchers quickly homed in on Asparagopsis taxiformis. This species of red algae grows in warm waters around the world.
Drawdown
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Sheep up to 80% And the less methane they emitted, the more milk they produced, thanks to more efficient digestion. In live sheep, the same dose led to a 70-80% drop in methane. (the tests have not yet been performed with live cows).Animal Microbiomehttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s42523-019-0004-4
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By saving calories on methane production, more efficient digestion resulted in more milk.Drawdown
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Though there may be issues scaling this up.Because Asparagopsis taxiformis doesn’t grow in abundance, and is yet to be commercially farmed, it could encounter scalability issuesMatters Journal
https://mattersjournal.com/stories/seaweedfarming
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ocean forest
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Today, kelp forests cover 76,000 km2 of ocean.close to the size of Austria (82,000 km2)L. 5,990 Today, underwater kelp forests cover nineteen million acres [76,890km2]. DrawdownL. 5,990
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Just 2% of the fertile oceanfertile ocean is approx 3.5M km2Nature
https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2790
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Imagine if that was larger...
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