Interest in macroalgae aquaculture is growing. Kelp and other seaweeds can be grown for food, animal feed, organic fertilizer, biofuels and other sustainable products. In Washington State, kelp aquaculture grew out of ocean acidification (OA) research. Because macroalgae absorbs nutrients and carbon dioxide as it grows, co-cultivation of macroalgae alongside farmed marine species can help recycle waste, and may buffer vulnerable organisms from the corrosive effects of OA.
WSG works with partners to investigate the impact that kelp aquaculture can have on OA and the potential commercial markets for farmed kelp, including using kelp as food and as fertilizer
In 2019, WSG lead a 3-day training for potential kelp farmers, created a go-to website for providing basic information for getting started all in one place, and continues to field inquiries from around the state.
WSG staff can also help answer questions about kelp and seaweed aquaculture and the educational and funding resources that are currently available.