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  • Writer's pictureNatasha YAMAMURA

What are the benefits of Macroalgae?

Updated: Jun 26

Did you know that macroalgae farms have many benefits for the environment?

  • Macroalgae or seaweed can absorb high quantities of carbon dioxide, limiting the amount that gets released into the air.

  • Seaweed has been proved to be a natural wastewater treatment tool for those nasty pollutants that invade oceans.

  • Algae enables living organisms to grow and prosper more effectively in cleaner water.

  • Macroalgae farms can also provide off-season work for farmers and can boost the economy where they are located.  

  • The qualities that make macroalgae so effective in the natural world also make it effective in the business world! Once cultivated, seaweed can be turned into different bioproducts that help make a more eco-friendly world.

Carbon Sequestration

Research has shown that macroalgae has the potential to capture 2.48 million tons of CO2 per year (Duarte et al., 2017). 

Due to this intake of carbon dioxide, seaweed farms have been shown to increase water pH by 0.1. This goes a long way to mitigating the ocean acidification that has been particularly detrimental to ocean life.

Wastewater Treatment Tool

A natural wastewater treatment tool, seaweed removes pollutants like  phosphorus, nitrogen, and ammonium from seawater as well as trapping microplastics and absorbing heavy metal contaminants. Collectively these benefits improve the water quality significantly, and when the location of farms are carefully considered and strategically placed, they prove to be highly effective for wastewater treatment.

Biofuel Production

A surprisingly broad range of bioproducts can be produced from macroalgae, one of which is bioethanol. In fact, bioethanol production can lead to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 1,500 tons CO2/km2 per year (Silverman-Roati et al., 2021).

Preserves Biodiversity

Macroalgae farms promote “50% higher abundance of organisms and 30% higher species richness” (Ahmed et al., 2020).

Job Opportunities

Seaweed farming is gaining worldwide popularity and currently is a well-established industry (Buschmann et al., 2017).

Seaweed farming presents opportunities for coastal communities to increase local employment and earn additional income.

It also contributes substantially to the sustainable development of the marginalized communities, including coastal women by providing livelihood opportunities and ensuring financial solvency (Sultana et al., 2023).

This is just a snapshot of the many benefits of macroalgae farming. To find out more about its capabilities, the ecological and commercial opportunities, and the work that we're doing at Algae Scope, please take a look at our other blogs.

We're committed to realising our vision to regenerate the ocean and create bio-based materials with macroalgae in coastal regions all over the world. Our team of scientists and environmental experts are leading the seaweed revolution and are engaged in projects in different worldwide locations. As seaweed farming grows, we need to ensure safe and sustainable methodologies and production. This requires lots of ongoing research and development.

To support our work, we'd really appreciate if you could take a moment to consider donating. All donations, however small, will help us to enhance our seeding, cultivation and bioproduct development techniques and bring eco-solutions to local regions. If you'd like to donate, please click here! Thank you so much.

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