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  • Writer's pictureNatasha YAMAMURA

The opportunities significantly outweigh the risks of macroalgae farming- here's how we mitigate risk

Updated: Apr 26

In our last blog we talked about how much a macroalgae farm could benefit the environment and community however we are often questions about the potential environmental risks.

Listed below are some risks that we have identified, and analysed a mitigation plan. Don’t get too disheartened because we have ways to stop these risks from happening.

We just need to focus on properly understand how algae cultivation works, specific to the area, and make sure we monitor the farms to the best of our ability.

We start from understanding the local environment and pilot tests, inland before introducing the seaweed back into the ocean starting with a very small scale. Keeping an eye out for how the algae is affecting the ecosystem such as overbloom; along with regularly testing the water to prevent pollution, endangerment, and disease.  

Environmental Risks

Pollution & Endangerment

  • Can cause ocean pollution if detachment occurs 

  • Marine life can become entrapped

Disease Infestation

  • Loss of genetic variation 

  • Creates vulnerability for insects and pathogens

Light Inhibition

  • Blocks light from reaching organisms that inhabit lower water depth

Invasive Species Introduction

  • Can lead to competition within the ecosystem 

  • Cultivation materials can provide a habitat for invasive species

Algal Overblooms

  • Can cause overabundance of nutrients 

  • Decrease in biodiversity

To reduce the risks associated with a macroalgae farm, best practices for farming are required to ensure proper managementAdditionally, consistent monitoring and sampling of site location are required to observe any changes in the surrounding environment . With proper care, ecosystem services won’t be negatively affected (Bhuyan, 2023).

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