MACROSEA - A KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM FOR INDUSTRIAL MACROALGAE CULTIVATION
The MACROSEA project has a duration of 4 years (2016-2019) and is funded by the Research council of Norway through the Large-scale Programme on Aquaculture Research.
The project targets successful and predictable production of high quality biomass thereby making significant steps towards industrial macroalgae cultivation in Norway.
The project delivers knowledge on seedling quality, sea cultivation, fouling and diseases and functional genetics of selected brown and red macroalgae species.
Growth models for these species will be developed and coupled with 3D hydrodynamics-ecosystem models to estimate site-dependent biomass production, and methods for efficient seeding, deployment and harvest will be proposed. Drag forces and deformation of different farm systems at different sea states will be determined in flume tank experiments, and a numerical model for simulation and visualization of farm designs in dynamic marine systems will be developed.
WP1: Seedling Biology
In MACROSEA we study the earliest life stages of S. latissima, A. esculenta and P. palmata to establish the threshold levels for environmental variables on seedling quality and thus improved hatchery conditions.
WP2: Sea Cultivation
Laboratory and field experiments will be designed to develop new knowledge on growth, biochemical composition and biofouling under variable conditions of nutrient availability, light, temperature and salinity along the Norwegian coast.
WP3: Genetics and Disease
The main aim is to examine connectivity and gene flow between populations of seaweeds which may be used in cultivation, in order to produce population genetic baseline overviews. Sugar kelp has been chosen as the main study species.
WP4: Marine Modelling
Implementation of results and research from the other WPs in growth models for kelp (e.g. S. latissimia) and other macroalgae.
WP5: Seedling, deployment and harvest technology
Existing processes and methods for seedling production and seeding of substrates will be reviewed with regard to industrial scale production.
WP6: Sea Farms
The work package will develop tools for design of seaweed farms. Drag forces and deformation of farm systems at different sea states will be determined using towing experiments with live seaweeds at sea and artificial surrogates in lab.