If the Australian livestock sector is to reduce its emissions footprint, and achieve its promised carbon neutrality by 2030, handpicked seaweed will not be enough to create a commercial seaweed industry for cattle feed. Achieving a 1% DW supplement of Asparagopsis to reduce the methane output for the NSW dairy herd alone (approximately 15% of Australia's dairy herd and
The existing seaweed farming techniques (vegetative fragments and spore/gametes based) create several major bottlenecks to large-scale seaweed farming including: the requirement for large amounts of biomass and fertile sporophyte plants, dependencies on complex life cycles, loss of vigour, and high susceptibility to variety of pest and diseases. Addressing these bottlenecks immediately is a top priority to capitalise upon the significant current commercial interest in seaweed production and the projected demand for this innovative animal feed additive.
We propose that protoplasts-based seedstock generation for seaweed farming to provide a sustainable and scalable solution, resulting in higher yields of quality plantlets production independent of spores and vegetative fragments. Further, developing seaweed protoplasts isolation tools will also aid in vitro genetic manipulation techniques for developing genetically improved strains of seaweed crops.
Developing micropropagation tools for seaweed aquaculture industry will:
1. Make a sizeable contribution to achieving the National Aquaculture Strategy and can support Australia’s economic recovery post-COVID 19.
2. Increase the red meat industry's capability to achieve MLA's commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030.
3. Promote finfish aquaculture by growing seaweeds in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems by removing and utilizing excess nutrients.