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Can Seaweed Feed and Fuel the Future?
With Scott Lindell, Research Specialist in Aquaculture Technology with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Marine aquaculture holds great promise for sustainably meeting the world’s food and energy needs as the world’s population expands to 10 billion by 2050. Current agricultural practices contribute about 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, and is dependent on pesticides, fertilizers from fossil fuels, and increasingly scarce freshwater supplies. In addition, there simply won’t be space to feed all those people using terrestrial agriculture. About 90 percent of our energy presently comes from finite natural resources—oil and gas—whose extraction and use contribute to pollution and climate change.
Farmed seaweed, on the other hand, needs only seawater and sunlight to thrive, and can provide carbon-neutral nutrition and energy. Key challenges need to be overcome in order to sustainably scale up marine farming and make it economically viable.
WHOI research specialist Scott Lindell and his team have completed their third season of cross-breeding, growing, and evaluating strains of sugar kelp, and have developed high-yield varieties. Come listen to the challenges and opportunities facing this exciting research, and learn about the promising future of seaweeds that can sustain our lives and our planet.
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This program is supported in part by a grant from the Marion Cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
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