Aquaculture for all

World’s largest tropical seaweed farm begins operations

Climate change Sustainability Restorative aquaculture +6 more

Marking an important step towards the mass cultivation of seaweeds, Sea6 Energy has launched the world’s largest mechanised tropical seaweed farm off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia.

Sea6 Energy aim to produce seaweed at an industrial scale for use as a biodegradeable raw material

© Sea6 Energy

Sea6 Energy - an India-based seaweed producer - has launched the world's first large-scale mechanised tropical seaweed farm. The farm, which covers an area of 1 km2, marks a significant milestone in establishing the scalability of sustainable tropical seaweed cultivation, with potential applications including biostimulants, bioplastics, and the continued research and development of renewable chemicals and fuels.

Until now, the harvesting process for mass cultivation of tropical seaweed has acted as a significant barrier to the scalability of the industry, and is a key reason for the lack of research into the seaweed feedstock’s applicability in large industrial applications.

By automating various workflows of seaweed cultivation, from seeding to harvesting, and developing knowledge that dramatically enhances the feedstock’s shelf life, Sea6 aims to increase the productivity of smallholder seaweed farms with their vertically integrated innovative platform.

The launch of the unprecedented seaweed farm was attended by dignitaries in Indonesia, including the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, the Minister of Fisheries, and the Minister of Industry. Their presence at the launch underscores the importance of this project in promoting environmental stewardship and fostering economic growth in the region.

“[The] large-scale seaweed cultivation project in Lombok is a shining example of India-Indonesia cooperation in the blue economy. Sea6 Energy is a product of India’s biotechnology innovation ecosystem. They are pioneers of seaweed cultivation and processing technologies globally,” said Sandeep Chakravorty, Ambassador of India to Indonesia and Timor Leste, in a press release announcing the launch.

“Greater investment in seaweed cultivation can meet the challenges of producing biodegradable industrial raw materials such as biofuels and bioplastics. Sea6’s investments in Indonesia are creating local green jobs, developing skills, creating opportunities, and building a sustainable local economy,” he added.

Sea6’s potential for scale and commitment to sustainable aquaculture has attracted nearly $30 million of international investment over the past ten years, including support from Netherlands-based sustainable aquaculture fund AquaSpark.

“We are honoured to inaugurate the world's first mechanized tropical sea farm, a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability in the ocean economy," said Nelson Vadassery, cofounder and chief executive officer at Sea6 Energy.

"This ground breaking initiative not only showcases the immense potential of sustainable seaweed cultivation but also underscores our collective responsibility to develop sustainable products for future generations,” Vadassery concluded.

*Hatch is part of Aqua-Spark’s investment portfolio, but The Fish Site retains editorial independence.

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