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First Seaweed Trade Association in Australia launches

A major force in sustainable aquaculture is on target for significant future growth as Australia’s first peak body for the commercial seaweed industry officially launched in Canberra.

The Australian Sustainable Seaweed Alliance (ASSA) represents ten corporate members across six states and was launched to advance environmentally responsible farming and production, strategic research and development, and scientific and biotech related commercialisation.

This includes fast tracking methane emission reducing Asparagopsis (red seaweed) production to help meet the Australian Government’s important emissions reduction targets.

The emerging industry is on target for rapid growth, with ASSA’s Australian Seaweed Industry Blueprint forecasting $100 million GVP (Gross Value of Production) and the creation of 1200 direct jobs in regional and coastal communities in the coming years, laying the foundations for a potential major $1.5 billion industry set to create 9,000 jobs by 2040.

“Given the right policy settings, Australia is exceptionally well-placed to play a leading role in this economically significant and environmentally sustainable major global scale up,” said ASSA’s inaugural General Manager, Lindsay Hermes.

“A recent World Bank Report found that over the short and medium term, some of the most promising new segments for this sector include bio stimulants, nutritional supplements, bioplastics, fabrics and importantly, methane-reducing livestock additives,” Mr Hermes added.

“ASSA’s team is growing by the day, and we are in Canberra to meet key policymakers and stakeholders and thank them for their ongoing support, which will be critical if we are to continue to capitalise on the enormous potential of this significant new Australian industry.”

Chair of ASSA, Jo Kelly believes, if adequately supported by research and development investment, a growing seaweed industry could make a sizeable contribution to achievement of the National Aquaculture Strategy and support Australia’s post COVID economic recovery.

“ASSA’s mission is to scale up environmentally responsible commercial farming of seaweed to provide food, feed and bioproducts. Development of seaweed cultivation at scale is the single biggest opportunity for rapid industry growth and optimising social and environmental outcomes,” Ms Kelly said.

The Australian Government has committed $8 million to the Developing Australia’s Seaweed Farming Program to support investment in the Australian seaweed industry and scale up the production of seaweed as a livestock feed supplement to reduce methane emissions, including funding to support ASSA.

Taken from Australian Sustainable Seaweed Alliance (ASSA) Media Release on 16 November 2023.

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