This project seeks to determine the optimal growing conditions for commercial seaweed culture in southern Australia, to maximise both product quality and environmental benefits.
A viable seaweed industry using IMTA can solve 4 key industry problems .
IMTA has the potential to provide economic benefits through new aquaculture opportunities in seaweed culture (e.g. as human food, natural fibers, fertilizer, animal feed, or as novel natural products such as nutraceuticals). There are species that show significant promise in the market place in all of these areas. We will establish the culture and harvest techniques necessary to grow selected species in an IMTA context and thereby provide an opportunity for product diversification and management of commercial risk.
Making Fin-Fish Farming More Environmentally sustainable
Combining seaweed with finfish culture can reduce nutrient inputs to our coastal zone, thereby mitigating potentially adverse impacts by turning a waste product into a benefit and market opportunity. This project will provide the necessary knowledge to clearly demonstrate the nutrient uptake potential of the selected species and validate the techniques and technologies (production platforms) to maximize waste nutrient uptake for the best ecosystem outcomes.
Skilled Workforce Shortages in Regional Areas
IMTA can provide a means to offset seasonal/ casual employment challenges in each production sector (finfish, shellfish, seaweed), providing greater continuity of employment, transferable skills within the partnership and broader support for training and employment in regional communities.
Increasing societal acceptance of aquaculture in general, and IMTA in particular, will require a clear demonstration of the environmental and societal benefits. Consequently, the data required to establish the commercial and environmental viability of IMTA for the companies will be shared with the community to demonstrate the broader benefits of the collaborations.