Message from Mark Ryan, MD & CEO, 29 March 2022

We welcome the Green’s support for sustainable agriculture research, particularly seaweed farming, which is a core focus at Tassal Group. We would be pleased to take the Greens through our research and explore collaboration on the sustainable growth of Australia’s seaweed industry.

The cross party recognition of environmental benefits of seaweed is a welcome addition to Australia’s sustainable agriculture agenda. Australia has a real opportunity to drive the transition of seaweed farming R&D pilots and start-ups into a job ready, highly skilled, home grown, eco-friendly regional industry. Tassal Group’s involvement in seaweed farming has led to 5 years of progress in temperate and tropical seaweed species research.

In Tasmania, Tassal Group has been involved in partnerships with global seaweed leaders in kelp culturing trials to facilitate kelp culture and reforestation efforts to restore the kelp forests since 2016. Seaweed produced through these projects was provided to community groups championing reforestation efforts to facilitate the reintroduction of giant kelp plants into known habitats.

In Queensland, Tassal Group more recently has converted 13HA of settlement pond area at the Proserpine Prawn Farm into seaweed production. Through this partnership with the University of Sunshine Coast Seaweed Research Group, 305 tonnes of seaweed have been harvested up to 31 December 2021.

This research is providing our industry nature-based solutions to protect the local environment and reduce nutrient loads. Tassal Group is also looking into opportunities to commercialise seaweed harvest, including fertiliser and soil conditioning, biochar for carbon sequestration, animal feed supplements to reduce methane and human food and nutraceuticals.