Live from Seagriculture EU 2024

Live from Seagriculture EU 2024

Join WeAreAquaculture as we bring you the latest information live from the Seagriculture Conference in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.

Close of Seagriculture EU 2024

That's a wrap for WeAreAquaculture's live coverage of Seagriculture EU 2024!

During the last two days, we've heard from a wide range of experts, from industry, research and government, and on a huge variety of topics, from seaweed cultivation, biochemistry and technology, to the importance of investment and regulation, and the future potential of the seaweed industry in Europe and beyond.

The conference has also provided a unique chance to showcase the Faroe Islands environment and expertise in the current and future development of the sector.

Thanks to everyone who followed along with WeAreAquaculture's coverage, and watch out for future international editions of Seagriculture coming up this year and next year:

Seagriculture USA in Ketchikan, Alaska from 11-12 September 2024

Seagriculture Asia-Pacific in Adelaide, Australia, from 18 - 20 March 2025

From Iceland to Switzerland,from ocean farming to land-based systems

Now a fittingly international line-up of experts will feature during the final session of this year's Seagriculture EU, with speakers from Norway, USA/Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands:

  • Matthew S. Haynsen (Macroalgae Cultivation Scientist, Running Tide, USA / Iceland), on macroalgae cultivation and deployment in Iceland.

  • Anne-Kristin Løes (Senior Researcher, Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture (NORSØK), Norway), on seaweeds for fertilization of agricultural crops.

  • Jakob Surber (Technical Specialist Aquaculture & Water Treatment, Dryden Aqua, Switzerland), on improved filtration for land-based systems

  • Luiza Neves (Research Scientist, SINTEF Ocean / NTNU, Norway),providing new insights on the production, biodegradation and characterization of organic carbon from cultivated Saccharina latissima in Norway.

  • Oscar Elizondo Sada (PhD candidate, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands), on enzyme assisted extraction for protein isolation from the red seaweed Palmaria palmata

  • Arne Duinker (Researcher, Institute of Marine Research, Norway), on processing farmed kelp for the food industry.

Breeding and seeding

The penultimate session of this year's Seagriculture focuses on "seeding and breeding", featuring three experts on seaweed cultivation: Michele Stanley (Associate Director for Science, Enterprise and Innovation, SAMS, UK), Floor Marsman (Data Analyst & Researcher, Ocean Rainforest, Faroe Islands) and Ana Borrero (Hatchery Manager, Seaweed Solutions, Norway).

Michele Stanley argues that selective breeding is important for seaweed cultivation, with the need to learn from experience in Asia where selective breeding of seaweed has been developed for some time.

Ocean Rainforest's Floor Marshman gives a presentation on state-of-the-art of direct seeding, including direct seeding machinery, glue development and in situ experiments.

Finally, Ana Borrero describes recent developments in breeding and seeding techniques to improve yield at sea. Her explains how her company, Seaweed Solutions has played an important role in developing the farming industry in Norway, partnering in in breeding programs and investing in internal resources to improve the yield at sea. 

AquaWhere? The science of siting aquaculture for sustainable industry growth - keynote

The final keynote for this edition of Seagriculture now, as the NOAA’s James Morris takes the podium.  

Morris is a marine ecologist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), where his research focuses on coastal marine ecology and marine spatial planning. 

Morris points out that finding the right space for offshore aquaculture is challenging given the large number of existing ocean uses and sensitive natural resources.  

He explains that to inform planning and siting of ocean aquaculture, NOAA has developed spatial planning approaches including smart siting applications and spatial suitability models.  

“This increased ocean intelligence has vastly improved access and understanding of ocean regions enabling industry and coastal managers to identify conflicts and opportunities early in the planning and permitting process,” he says. 

He says that marine spatial planning analyzes the entire area to identify "hotspots" - both of conflict and opportunity. The aim is to minimise both group conflicts and environmental impacts, by maintaining a “defensible and transparent” methodology. 

This in turn, he argues, increases investor confidence and helps to grow aquaculture opportunities. 

NOAA has completed more than 60 analyses over the past 5 years, he says, including identifying Aquaculture Opportunity Areas. 

Seaweed Elevator Pitches 

Another session of shorter presentations now, with a focus on biodiversity. 

Birgitta Andreasen (Researcher, Firum, Faroe Islands) outlines a baseline studies programme for sustainable and resilient seaweed cultivation in Faroese fjords, followed by Jóhanna Alberg (Research Assistant, Ocean Rainforest, Faroe Islands) who is providing insights on the impact of seaweed cultivation on biodiversity. 

Andreasen highlights that as kelp farms increase in numbers or size, more studies and monitoring of environmental impacts on the seafloor are needed to evaluate the potential spread of species and of genetic material, and screening for kelp disease, to ensure a sustainable growth of a kelp cultivation industry. 

Alberg points out that anecdotal evidence points to seaweed farms supporting ecosystems services, but points out that more empirical data is needed to show the true impact on biodiversity around seaweed cultivation. Ocean Rainforest is currently conducting a study to identify the species making a home for themselves among the seaweed lines, and says the results will be forthcoming.

Øivind Bergh (Senior Scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Norway) is here to talk about the project OLAMUR: low-trophic offshore aquaculture in Nordic multi-use contexts, combining mussels and seaweed in an offshore wind farm. The project is seeking additional partners, with potential grants available of up to EUR 100,000. 

Lastly, Dagbjørn Skipnes (Senior Scientist, Nofima, Norway) gives an overview of pulsed electric field processing of kelp, focusing on advantages, challenges and opportunities for industrial applications. Blanching is currently the most used method for iodine reduction in harvested Saccharina latissima seaweed, he says, however this needs plenty of energy. A lower-energy alternative is to utilized a pulsed electric field (PEF), which he says has been shown to reduce iodine content and improve extraction of other elements from the seaweed.

Financing large scale seaweed cultivation in Europe

We now move onto a topic crucial for any seaweed venture: financing. This session features a panel discussion on the financial ecosystem for large scale seaweed cultivation in Europe, with input from a variety of stakeholders: investors, farmers, “offtakers” and others. 

The moderator is Marc von Keitz (Director Oceans, Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, USA). 

The panelists are: 

  • Olavur Gregersen, CEO & Co-founder, Ocean Rainforest, Faroe Islands 

  • Rene Schepens, Director, FermentationExperts, The Netherlands 

  • Clément Hochart, Founding Partner, SCOBY Collective, USA 

  • Ulrike Hees, Senior Research Manager KTC Renewable Raw Materials Group Research, BASF SE, Germany 

  • Jason Mitchell, Co-Founder, Norfolk Green Ventures, USA 

What are investors looking for? Jason Mitchell explains that Norfolk Green Ventures believe seaweed will be the "most transformative crop of our lifetime" and see it as a solution to some of the world’s most challenging problems. As investors in the sector, their strategy is to identify and invest in great ideas, exceptional people, and quality assets.

How can we manage the risks in building the company, and ultimately sustaining the company?

"Seaweed cultivation isn't so much about biomass, it's about biotech. You have to understand how you are going to use the seaweed in the market," says Olavur Gregersen. "You have to start to sell as soon as you can."

He points out that standards and insurance are important to scaleup, and having offtake agreements in place is essential to ensure business sustainability over 5-10 year time frames. "That's the kind of commitment I would like to see from both parties," he says.

Scaling up cultivation in exposed areas

Nearshore coastal areas are in high demand – be it from fisheries, tourism, finfish aquaculture, or a range of other maritime activities – posing a challenge for the seaweed industry to find the space to scale up cultivation.

Now seaweed cultivators are increasingly looking further offshore in order to have the space to scale up - but what will this involve, and what should the industry bear in mind regarding the market value of farmed seaweed?

During this session, experts from the UK, Belgium, Germany and Norway will discuss colocation, materials and other aspects related to offshore cultivation. 

First up is Charlie Bavington (CTO, Oceanium, UK), who is talking about factors influencing the value of farmed seaweed. Seaweed is "an expensive biomass", but farmed seaweed is a "value-added biomass," which has properities that are not available in terrestrial biomass, he says.

The "stand-out ingredients" are the "unique carbohydrates only found in seaweeds" - and "what drives seaweed value is the composition and the product value," Bavington says, pointing out that the most valuable products that can be extracted from seaweed (in demand for pharmceuticals, healthcare, cosmetics, and food) are fucoidan, laminarin, polyphenols, and carotenoids - but these also require the greatest degree of processing.

Our second speaker is Bert Groenendaal (Innovation Manager, AtSeaNova, Belgium), talking about “advanced seaweed farming”. He says there is a "high potential" for large-scale seaweed cultivation in Europe, but licenses are a barrier in many countries, while mechanization is "underdeveloped", and markets in the EU and North America are still small.

Eva Strothotte (Project Manager, R&D Centre University of Applied Sciences, Germany) takes the podium to talk about multi-use systems. Are these a solution to competing interests in offshore space? Strothotte is going to share lessons learned from a German North Sea pilot farm cultivating seaweed and mussels, located in wind farm 80 km off the North-German coast, with a maximum wave height of 18 metres.

She says "if we can make it there we will make it anywhere!", and reports the pilot successfully demonstrated the technological, environmental and financial feasibility of far off-shore cultivation of seaweed. The project also tested synergies of logistics, transport, planning and maintenance, monitoring and surveillance, and security and insurance.

Now comes the Norwegian perspective on offshore seaweed, and from a research specialist in all things offshore, SINTEF (check out our feature about exposed and offshore aquaculture here). Eivind Lona (Senior Project Manager, SINTEF Ocean, Norway) will talk about experiences with design, installation and operation of an exposed seaweed farm off the Norwegian coast, at the Norwegian Test Center for Seaweed Cultivation and Utilization Technologies.

Lona describes SINTEF's work in identifying optimal offshore sites, noting differences in productivity depending on latitude. He also highlights a collaborative industry project to install a pilot seaweed farm in offshore conditions in Frohavet, aiming to develop scalable technology for open ocean seaweed carbon dioxide removal - and mentions the consortium is still welcoming new partners.

Collaboration crucial to scale up in the US, says keynote 

We heard a good many calls for collaboration within the seafood sector yesterday, and the second day of Seagriculture gets started by reiterating that need for knowledge exchange and support between farmers, with Lindsay Olsen’s keynote “Scaling U.S. kelp supply through collaborative farmer networks”. 

Lindsay Olsen is Director of Training & Support, GreenWave, USA, who facilitates in-person and virtual events to connect, train, and support seaweed farmers across North America.  

In 2022, she led the launch of GreenWave’s Ocean Farming Hub – a free, online teaching tool for prospective and active kelp farmers and hatchery operators – complete with instructional courses, an interactive farm design tool, and an online community forum with over 6,000 global members. 

Her keynote presentation shares Greenwave’s vision for a "farmer-forward industry", and promises to show ”how collaboration up and down the seaweed value chain is critical to catalyzing growth and scaling seaweed supply”.

"Farmers are feeling let down," says Olsen. "What are the problems that are facing farmers right now that are stopping them from growing, stabilising and selling their crop?"

Greenwave's dual strategy is to build a farmer's network across the United States and Canada, and to draw on the experiences and expertise of that network to help farmers develop their businesses.

"We work with a lot of small growers, who have challenges in making connections with other growers and tap into the value chain," she says, explaining that Greenwave aims to address this.

Olsen highlights GreenWave’s Kelp Climate Fund, a subsidy for seaweed farmers which supports a range of climate impacts, including carbon, nitrogen, and reef restoration. Farmers use an app to provide data on the amount of seaweed planted, growth rates, and harvest, which GreenWave uses to calculate the number of acres planted, carbon and nitrogen removed, and harvest volumes throughout North America.

After piloting the initiative with nine seaweed farms in 2021-2022, the fund paid out over $75,000, increasing to $350,000 and more than 40 farms during 2022-2023.

This year GreenWave is piloting a collaborative project with three groups of farmers to build new nurseries, ensure early outplanting, and engage with new buyers. "We're looking to aggregate supply across regional farms... getting that supply to the buyers in the format that they want," she says.

"We feel that for the last 10 years or so, the industry has been focused on the long-term... but that has come to the detriment of progress in the here and now. We feel that focusing on the immediate scale problem in front of us... ensuring quality is good and reliable, we'll be able to secure these small incremental wins," she says.

Day 2 of Seagriculture

Good morning, and welcome back to WeAreAquaculture's live coverage of Seagriculture EU 2024 in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands!

Today will kick off with a keynote on scaling up seaweed farming in the US - and indeed, the theme of much of this morning will be how to scale up - with the need for collaboration between different operators and stakeholders an ongoing key message.

Follow along with us again today to keep up with the latest from the conference!

Day one of Seagriculture closes with elevator pitch session

Rounding off today’s proceedings is an “elevator pitch” session where a selection of seaweed project leaders give a fast-paced insight into their respective initiatives. 

The session features Tobias Dewhurst (Ocean Engineer, Kelson Marine Co., USA) speaking on cost reductions in seaweed farm design and operation. 

Nessa O'Connor (Professor & Researcher, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland) follows with her presentation on community-driven farming for the Atlantic and Arctic Sea basins through REgeneRative aquaculture (C-FAARER project).

The third contributor to this session is Johan Svenson (Science Impact Manager, Cawthron Institute, New Zealand), speaking on seaweed aquaculture in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Finally, Rune Sakslo (CEO, Blue Harvest Technologies, Norway) will share insights into LOOP Farm – a fully automated aquaculture system for seaweed.

Seaweed of the year 2024: Dulse

A deep-dive into dulse now, the red seaweed that holds plenty of potential. Four experts will discuss cultivation aspects (on land and at sea), and potential applications.

Duncan Smallman (Head of Cultivation, Seaweed Generation, UK), is to speak about dulse’s potential as a feed supplement for chickens, followed by Gianluca Bizzaro (Research Specialist, Hortimare, The Netherlands), who will talk about the challenges, opportunities and scale-up for culviation of Palmaria palmata. 

Agnes Mols Mortensen (Science Director, TARI – Faroe Seaweed, Faroe Islands) will contribute to the discussion with information on Palmaria palmata cultivation in the Faroe Islands, while Pierre Edouard Liboureau (PhD fellow, University of Stavanger, Norway) will talk about the species’ bioactivity and nutraceutical potential. 

Towards a thriving European seaweed industry

A panel discussion now on the state-of-play and challenges for the European seaweed industry, moderated by Rhianna Rees of the Scottish Seaweed Industry Association. 

Our panellists are: Felix Leinemann (Head of Unit for Blue Economy Sectors, Aquaculture and Maritime Spatial Planning, DG MARE), Adrien Vincent (EU4Algae, France), Eef Brouwers (North Sea Farmers, The Netherlands), and Maren Sæther, (Norwegian Seaweed Association and Seaweed Solutions, Norway). 

Can each organisation highlight some notable contributions or achievements to celebrate? asks the moderator.

Felix Leinemann highlights the EU's policy paper on the future of the algae sector, while Adrien Vincent highlights the series of meetings and projects coordinated by the EU4Algae network.

Eef Brouwers highlights North Sea Farmers' offshore test site project to set up a fully-operational seaweed farm within an offshore wind farm.

Maren Sæther notes that the Norwegian Seaweed Association is working together on market development, and highlights that last year the Norwegian Seafood Council formally recognised seaweed as seafood, thus including seaweed in its marketing activities.

Cargill keynote highlights seaweed’s role in sustainability goals

Piet Bogaert (Food & Bio Innovation Leader, Cargill, Belgium) now gives today’s second keynote presentation, discussing seaweed’s role in achieving sustainability goals, and discussing newer applications of seaweed as an alternative to petrochemical chemicals as fertilizer, packaging material, bio-stimulant - and even in the electronics industry.

Bogaert points out that seaweed derivatives have the potential to touch almost every part of our daily lives, from toothpaste and cosmetics to food and drink, and to household products and furnishings.

Innovative applications for seaweeds

Beyond Asian cuisine and hydrocolloids, what else can seaweeds be used for? During this session we’ll hear about new, innovative applications for seaweeds in food, feed, and more – and the regulatory challenges involved. 

Rene Schepens (Director, FermentationExperts, The Netherlands) will address the challenging issue of getting seaweed into animal feed, while Unilever’s Sarah Hosking will then talk about the potential for seaweed in new biobased product ingredients and packaging. 

Rob Kinley (Chief Scientist, FutureFeed, Australia) will dive into the specifics on the science and commercialisation of the Red Sea plume Asparagopsis as a methane inhibitor for red meat and dairy production. 

Finally, Mari Lyyra, Head of Operations for Food & Feed and Cosmetics at Finnish regulatory consultancy Medfiles, will discuss regulatory positioning and related aspects of novel seaweed ingredients in the EU, pointing out what is beneficial to know already at the product development phase. 

Potential for seaweed as animal feed ingredient

Rene Schepens of FermentationExperts points out that globally, animal feed is a huge potential market for seaweed, but a highly competitive one, with cost price the main driver to stay in business.

While he says that seaweed's low protein content means it cannot replace cereal byproducts in animal feed, fermented seaweed has unique components which can improve animal gut health, and provide anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.

He cites a series of scientific trials incorporating seaweed into animal feed, showing that co-fermented seaweed changes microbial balance over several months, with indirect effects on health, resistance and production results.

"The best return on investment is animals that stay in the farm for a long time," he says.

Unilever scouting for seaweed-derived ingredients

Sarah Hosking says that Unilever is scouting for sustainable components for its products, with the vision of "making sustainable living commonplace".

Hosking explains that Unilever is looking into seaweed because it is a sustainable source of biomass which is in short supply, and for its potential in novel chemical properties. "Seaweed could be a sustainable alternative to fossil carbon for the chemicals industry," she says.

Amongst the properties Unilever is interested in, Hoskings highlights antimicrobials and proteins that can be utilised for texture, binding, foaming and emulsification in various products, stabilisers and texturisers for food products, and bioactives for skincare products such as fucoidans, mycosporine-like amino acids (MMAs), polyphenols and phlorotannins.

She says that the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry could be a "huge new market" for the seaweed industry, but points out that innovation is needed to access this. She adds that Unilever wishes to explore partnerships for mutual benefit and development of this market.

Seaweed's potential as a methane inhibitor

Now Rob Kinley explains how FutureFeed is commercializing the use of Asparagopsis seaweed as a livestock feed ingredient that reduces methane emissions by over 80%.

Kinley explains that FutureFeed holds the global IP rights to this technology, developed by CSIRO, James Cook University and Meat and Livestock Australia, and is working on confirming the safety and efficacy of Asparagopsis through further research and development.

He points out that seaweed has always been used in livestock feed since ancient times, but now research and technology development are unlocking the specific benefits of seaweed for this.

So far, FutureFeed has licensed 10 production partners around the world to cultivate and manufacture animal feed materials containing Asparagopsis.

Navigating the regulations for seaweed in food

Is your seaweed product considered a traditional or a novel food ingredient? It pays to know in advance if you are planning to sell your product within the European Union, says regulatory expert Mari Lyyra.

The EU Novel food regulation 2015/2283 may affect innovative seaweed ingredients, she explains, noting that food business operators must define the regulatory status of their ingredients. If the ingredient is considered "novel", it needs a pre-market authorisation in the EU, Lyyra says.

Bridging Continents

The first main panel session of the proceedings now gets underway, with the overall theme of “Bridging Continents”, aiming to give an overview of the state of play in the seaweed sector different regions around the world. 

We have an interesting line-up ahead: 

Well-known global seaweed advocate and author of The Seaweed Revolution Vincent Doumeizel (Senior Advisor Ocean, United Nations Global Compact) will kick off proceedings by talking about the Global Seaweed Coalition. 

Alaskan specialists Melissa Good (University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Sea Grant) and Nick Mangini (Mariculture Director, Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference) will speak on “Navigating challenges and fostering unity in Alaska's growing mariculture industry”. 

The session is due to wrap up with Chinese expert Professor K. Jim Jem (Chinese Academy of Science NIMTE), who will talk about China’s industry & development of seaweed and marine algae in Greater China. 

Advocacy and international knowledge-sharing for the seaweed industry

Our first speaker Vincent Doumeizel highlights the need to develop knowledge on growing European species of seaweed, pointing out the long history of seaweed cultivation and knowledge in Asia. He also highlights the need for the sector to work on social licence to operate - and long-term funding is crucial, he says.

Doumeizel outlines the work of the Global Seaweed Coalition in advocacy for seaweed, and its aim of accelerating science, attracting investors, enabling cooperation and avoiding inefficiencies.

The coalition, in partnership with UNGC and Lloyd’s Register Foundation, has 800+ members from international institutions to large food brands as well as academics, NGOs and seaweed producers, he explains.

The coalition works on information sharing through monthly webinars and reports, he explains, and stresses that the coalition is free to join.

Alaskan kelp farming: great potential, but barriers need to be overcome

Now we move on to consider the seaweed sector in Alaska.

There are currently 25 active farms in Alaska, but none are growing at full capacity, says Melissa Good. She explains that statewide, 683 acres (276 hectares) are authorised as aquatic farms.

Good points out that Alaska is one of the largest producers of wild-harvest seafood in the world. She points out that barriers to expansion for seaweed farmers include a lack of access to market, to infrastructure for post-harvesting and processing, and to seed.

Nick Mangini says he started one of the first kelp farms in Alaska in 2016. He surveyed 32 seaweed farmers on the greatest challenges facing them in Alaska, and by far the main response was lack of access to processing facilities.

"A close second was the supply chain", he says, highlighting the need to bring down shipping costs by drying large volumes of seaweed. The state also needs to build more biorefineries, he argues.

Permitting is another stumbling block for seaweed farmers, he says, with lengthy permitting procedures also limiting access to capital. "Nobody wants to lend money to someone who doesn't have a permit," he says.

How are these barriers being addressed? The Mariculture Research Consortium and the Alaska Mariculture Cluster are working on projects to support the sector, including funding for farmers to start up and develop their businesses.

The State of Alaska has also awarded funding for workforce develoment through the Alaska Sea Grant, Good points out.

The next Seagriculture conference will be held in Alaska on September 11-12 2024.

China: the largest seaweed producer globally

Finally, Professor K. Jim Jem provides an overview of the seaweed industry in China.

China is the largest seaweed producing country in the world, with an annual volume of 2.7 million metric tons (dry weight), he explains, accounting for 57% of seaweeds produced worldwide.

He points out that China is also the largest importer of crude seaweed in the world, and the largest exporter of seaweed and its hydrocolloids, converting seaweeds for use in fertilizers, bio-stimulants, chemicals, medicines, and hydrocolloids like alginates, which are used in fibre and apparel production.

China is also developing ways of utilizing contaminated and waste algae, for example by combining it with plastic waste to produce plywood, he says.

Algae in Europe: "an ocean of opportunities"

Our first keynote now, as Charlina Vitcheva, Director-General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the European Commission (DG MARE) comes onstage to present the outlook on algae in the European Union.

Vitcheva says algae is "an incredibly versatile material" that can produce a huge range of products and ingredients, in addition to its capacity to absorb CO2, reduce ocean acidification, and remove excess nutrients. "It can ameliorate the pressure of climate change on marine ecosystems," she says.

And the market for algae is predicted to grow significantly, she says. "Europeans are starting to consume products like seaweed chips, miso soup.... the demand for these products is soaring," she says, but at the moment European production is very low. "Europe is missing a big opportunity already today."

"We still have a lot of knowledge gaps... we need research and innovation," Vitcheva says. "We also need to increase social awareness... This will enable not just market acceptance in the European Union, but trust and conviction."

She says they are cooperating with a range of stakeholders - industry, governments, NGOs - and also internally regarding regulations on food ingredients, with 30 algae species now permitted.

She also highlights that at the beginning of 2023, the EU launched the EU4Algae platform to interface with algae stakeholders. The idea is to exchange good practices, solutions and knowledge, Vitcheva explains.

From the EU point of view, she says "we need to make sure the sector is not only innovative, but trustworthy," with a foundation in science. She says the EU are working with member states on streamlining seaweed farming permits and developing national aquaculture plans.

Faroe Islands a "special location" for seaweed

The conference opens with some words of welcome from Kuno Jacobs (Managing Director, DLG Benelux), Faroe Islands Deputy Prime Minister Høgni Hoydal, and Ólavur Gregersen (CEO & Co-founder, Ocean Rainforest).

"At Seagriculture, we have never had such a special location as the Faroe Islands," said Jacobs, thanking Ocean Rainforest for the guided site visit yesterday. He says the Faroe Islands is a strategic location between east and west, which perfectly encapsulates the conference theme of "bridging continents".

Jacobs points out the potential for seaweed in the Faroes, which he says are "well-positioned to become a significant player in this market."

Formally opening the conference, Høgni Hoydal points out that the Faroes have 300,000 square kilometers of sea territory, and notes that the islands have a long history of seaweed harvesting.

Ólavur Gregersen now takes to the stage with some freshly-harvested seaweed, giving an overview of Ocean Rainforest's "rollercoaster" journey (to read more details on this, see our TalentView interview with here).

To build this new industry, Gregersen says, "innovation throughout the supply chain" is essential.

"The world desperately needs solutions to mitigate climate change, to enchance food security, and to improve the health of people and the planet," he says - and now the seaweed industry needs to convince consumers, investors and regulators about seaweed's potential in all of these areas, he argues. That needs teamwork and passion, he adds.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Ólavur Gregersen at Seagriculture EU 2024.</p></div>

Ólavur Gregersen at Seagriculture EU 2024.

Photo: Seagriculture / WeAreAquaculture.

Welcome to the Seagriculture live blog!

Good morning and welcome to WeAreAquaculture's liveblog coverage of Seagriculture, taking place in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, today and tomorrow (19-20 June 2024).

WeAreAquaculture is one of the media partners at the event, and we'll be keeping you updated throughout the next two days on the main issues and insights discussed.

Yesterday, Seagriculture participants began their stay in the Faroes with an exclusive tour of Ocean Rainforest's seaweed facilities.

Now begins the main conference, which under the theme of "Bridging Continents" is set to discuss how challenges in regulations, cost, and market viability could affect the pace of seaweed industry growth in the future.

Follow along with our liveblog to stay updated on all the conference highlights!

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