Propagating Seaweed for a Sustainable Future

[Netherlands] The global demand for food in general and for high quality proteins is growing. Subsequently the pressure on land by extensive agriculture is raising, causing ecological disasters.

To answer these challenges Hortimare has developed efficient, circular and sustainable concepts of aquaculture where seaweeds are the renewable and eco-neutral sources of marine proteins and the floating seaweed production field develops into a bio-diverse, stabilising ecosystem supporting sustainable salmon farming.

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Seaweeds are a valuable food and feed source and contain significant quantities of valuable proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals. The added value of including seaweed in aquaculture diets has been demonstrated.

By producing seaweeds (macro algae) next to salmon farms in the Norwegian fjords the high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen can be reduced while providing a habitat for predators of salmon lice.

This is a perfect circular system: Hortimare grows seaweed using the by-products of salmon farming and produces seaweeds rich in marine proteins, to be used in salmon-feed, whilst reducing the salmon lice pressure, reducing the use of pesticides.

Thus Hortimare provides a service to salmon farmers while ensuring a constant flow of sustainably produced high value algae derived marine proteins.

In May 2015 Hortimare harvested the seaweeds that have been growing on its 2 new installations at the location in Solund, Norway, following the successful harvesting of May 2014.

The seedlings were produced in August and September 2014 in Hortimare’s own hatchery at Solund, Norway, and planted on ropes in October 2014, then hung in open sea to grow.

Stunning results were gained and in a period of only 6 months the seaweeds have been growing up to 1.8 meters in length. A total of 8 ton biomass has been harvested on this Norwegian site last May compared to 3.5 ton biomass in May 2014.

Also great results were shown in the AT SEA Project demonstrator that was harvested last May.

To view the process from beginning to end a marvellous movie has been made by the consortium partners and can be viewed below.

The broadcast of NRK (Norwegian television) of 2014 provides a clear view on the expertise of Hortimare, the motivation of its well educated and hard-working staff and the result of proper quantity and excellent quality harvest of seaweeds. It also shows the expectations and possibilities for expansion the coming few years. Click here to view the broadcast.

Hortimare’s team is looking forward to a wonderful new season with amazing results.

About Hortimare BV

Hortimare was founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Job Schipper (MSc Wageningen University). He has a background in developing plant science and is competent in research and development in Algae & seaweed genetics, seedlings and production.

Hortimare's laboratory in The Netherlands and the hatchery in Kverhella, Norway.
Hortimare’s laboratory in The Netherlands and the hatchery in Kverhella, Norway.

In 2010 the first employees were contracted and the research work focussed on the seaweed lifecycle. To work towards its global aim the Norwegian Hortimare AS was founded in 2012.

First successful production by Hortimare in Norway using a cultivation infrastructure was realized in fjords in 2010. This was in close cooperation with local salmon farm Sulefisk AS and the cooperative Salmon Group.

Hortimare’s head count is now six, including two marine biologists, two technicians and an office manager.

The needed seaweed varieties are developed at the Hortimare R&D Centre on Texel Island, The Netherlands and in Solund (Norway) according to national/international legislation.

The R&D performed on Texel is in close cooperation with the NIOZ. In Norway the company will expand Hortimare’s hatchery facilities and test sites at Solund. The area known as Vestlandet will be the main focus in the company’s business development for the coming 5 years.

 

Photo: A decline in availability and increasing costs of fish meal has created a need for alternative sources for the fish-farming industry.

View original article at: The Photosynthetic Life-giving Pigment Content of BAC

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