In 2017 Norway Seaweed participated in a large national project MACROSEA together with SINTEF Ocean and 10 other seaweed producers. As a part of MACROSEA project we grew seaweeds on two locations in Southern Norway from February to August 2017.
In total 10 seaweed producers participated in the project along coast of Norway, following the same protocols for seaweed production, regularly measuring growth, taking samples for analysis of DNA and biochemistry of seaweeds at different depths and locations.
The MACROSEA project will target successful and predictable production of high quality biomass thereby making significant steps towards industrial macroalgae cultivation in Norway.
The project has a budget of NOK 25 million
SINTEF Ocean leads the project. Research partners are the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen, The Arctic University of Norway, Akvaplan Niva and the Norwegian Institute of Water Research, in addition to partners from Scotland, Denmark, China and USA and a strong industry group.
The primary objective is to establish an interdisciplinary knowledge platform on fundamental production biology and technology for macroalgae cultivation over a wide range of climatic, ecological and physical conditions.
Secondary objectives are:
To increase the principal knowledge on biological performance and environmentalrequirements for optimized chemical composition and biomass production
To obtain technological specifications and develop generic model and simulation tools for farm systems and biomass production.
The brown kelps Saccharinalatissima and Alaria esculenta (large volumes, low value), and the red alga Palmaria palmata (small volumes, high value) will be studied as promising species for industrial cultivation in Norway.
The project will deliver 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. Drag forces and deformation of different farm systems at different sea states will be determined in flume tank experiments. A numerical model for simulation and visualization of farm designs in dynamic marine systems will be developed.