Lots and lots of seaweed news

Sugar-blocking sea oak tea, Chinese super-kelp, AI for HABs, mangrove rot and much more

September has seen the seaweed business roaring back into action after the summer lull, and it’s been a challenge just to keep up. So no space for a leisurely introduction this time! Let’s dive straight in.

Novel foods

Teatis produces sugar-blocking teas for diabetics. The magic ingredient is arame (Ecklonia bicyclis, or sea oak) which suppresses the absorption of sugar from the intestinal tract and moderates blood sugar levels. The Trans-Pacific start-up has raised $1M so far.

Also: kelp coffee. We have heard it’s tasty.

Seawith has announced it wants to produce a 3$ cell-based steak based on seaweed scaffolding before 2030. This announcement comes hot on the heels of an authoritative report two years in the making saying this is completely impossible. Who is right?

Fresh investments

Leading US kelp growers Atlantic Sea Farms have completed a funding round led by Desert Bloom Food Ventures in a bid to continue their exponential growth and produce more than 2000 tonnes of kelp in 2024. The funding amount was not disclosed.

Australian start-up ULUU raised A$1.3M ($935,000 USD) in a pre-seed round for its bioplastics solution.

Plantruption, creators of the Irish seaweed burger, have raised $500,000 from SOSV and will take part in the venture capital firm’s IndieBio accelerator. SOSV previously invested in seaweed textile start-up Algiknit.

Academic output

A group of Qingdao researchers said recently it had succeeded in using hybrid technology to develop a new variety of high-yielding kelp that yields 64 percent more than common varieties, with broader and stronger fronds and higher biomass output after being blanched.

The Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Futures at the University of Exeter will develop and trial a range of innovative technologies to monitor and model the development of harmful algal blooms.

Australian wildfires fueled an algae bloom bigger than the continent itself.

Reports, roadmaps & toolkits

Seaweed for Europe released its licensing toolkit for prospective seaweed growers. Ocean Visions published their roadmap for macroalgae cultivation and carbon sequestration.

And the McKinley Group thoroughly assessed the potential for Alaska’s fledgling seaweed industry.

New government programs

New Zealand gets serious about offshore aquaculture with its 5-year, 11-million NZD (USD 7.5 million) project.

Another newsletter, another article detailing how India seeks to ramp up its seaweed production. This time by setting up a seaweed seedbank.

The Communist party of China is looking at Blue Carbon to help achieve its climate targets. As a first mover, Zhejiang province plans to establish more seaweed and shellfish breeding facilities to improve its carbon sink capacity (and also include them into their carbon credit market?)

Conservation

Kelp forests unexpectedly rebounded along California’s North Coast this year. Should conservationists be hopeful, or is this just a temporary spike in a long-term downward trend?

Tobago’s mangroves are dying because of an overabundance of rotting sargassum.

4 new post-doc & PhD positions

If you have a job opening you want to see mentioned here, get in touch.

That’s all!

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