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Lab-to-ocean success

Dive into the world of Southern Seagreens – a company on a mission to fight climate change with kelp. Thanks to funding from a Shire Climate Action Grant, this local regenerative seaweed farming business is leading the way in sustainable food production and helping our marine environment at the same time.

Southern Seagreens used the funding to help establish a native kelp nursery in Dromana, growing 50 million indigenous kelp spores in their lab. They then seed the juvenile kelp onto twine and transfer it to their farm off the coast of Flinders, where it grows to maturity.

The seaweed is a nutritious and highly sustainable food source that is sought after by consumers and restaurants.

The business also dives for Wakame in southern Port Phillip Bay. Wakame is a high-quality kelp that is
an introduced and invasive species in Australia. By wild harvesting it, Southern Seagreens is giving
native kelp species a better chance of survival.

Kelp plays a crucial role in fighting climate change because it captures carbon faster than land-based
forests and improves the marine ecosystem as it grows. We’re excited by the work the Shire funding has
supported at Southern Seagreens.

We caught up with Cam Hines, co-owner of Southern Seagreens, to ask him a few questions.

How did the grant assist the development of the kelp nursery?

Without a nursery, there can be no native kelp farm, so this funding has been key for us. Although we’re
still on a steep learning curve, I’m happy to say we’ve had success from our very first spore release!

Kelp farming is new in Australia, but we hope to see a local industry fire up in the coming years.

What’s the importance of regenerative seaweed farming for environmental sustainability?

Kelp is pretty remarkable. It draws down impressive volumes of carbon, helps deacidify the sea, provides habitat for diverse marine life and turns into incredibly nutritious and tasty food for humans!

What’s next for Southern Seagreens?

We’re lucky to be getting great support from local chefs and our Wakame is presently on the menu at many restaurants, wineries and retail stores on the Peninsula and beyond.

Content created April 2024

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