Seaweed farming along Norfolk and Suffolk’s coast

Seaweed farming along NorfolkOn 27th March a conference organised by Norfolk County Council, The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and the North Sea Marine Cluster entitled ‘Growing a Seaweed Economy in East Anglia’ was held at the King’s Centre, Norwich, which brought seaweed experts from The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and many parts of England to discuss and explore the prospects of marine biomassbiomass The amount of living matter. This is therefore a different measure to numbers of organisms. So, for example, there is much more biomass in 1 elephant than there is in 1000 fleas and there may be more biomass in 100 large cod than you would find in 150 small (because of over fishing) cod. farming off the Norfolk and Suffolk coast and the environmental and business benefits to be had in creating a seaweed farm.

The possibility of EC funding was raised, along with discussion centred around the key areas of location and operation of a sea trial, creating a sustainable supply chain, the routes to market, regulation, policy and economic and intellectual property.

Seaweed, kelp in particular, is used as a good iodine source and for alginates used in the food, confectionery, pharmaceutical and animal food businesses and even for bio-energy. Seaweed farms to produce biomass have already been introduced in Japan, China and in Scandinavia where they run alongside offshore wind farms.

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