SEAWEED + MUSSEL FARMING
We are testing the sustainability & replicability of small-scale integrated, native seaweed & mussel farming along the west coast of India.
In an increasingly disruptive and climate uncertain world, ocean farming is becoming a game of high risk and low return. For years we have exploited our ocean for food and natural resources, to the point of systemic breakdown. But, there are still sustainable and regenerative ways in which to work with our ocean. Seaweed farming is one such instance! Seaweed is amongst the fastest growing biomass on the planet and is versatile in its uses. This has huge implications for our future food, fuel, packaging and climate mitigation.
Our pilot farm is located a stones throw-away from Gokarna, in the postcard perfect Aghanashini Estuary in Karnataka. The farm is our workshop, where we are testing different approaches to growing, harvesting & processing locally found species. Our first test subjects are Gracilaria and Sargassum (seaweed) & Green mussels. Our farm is seasonal and will run from November to April.
MAP + SEED
We selected our farm site in a region with abundant natural
seaweed growth, and to avoid user conflict within the space. We responsibly harvested wild
seaweed for our first cycle, and will use this parent stock to seed the ropes for subsequent cycles.
At present we are growing mussels through natural settlement.
GROW + MONITOR
We ran through several design
iterations of our current 12 x 6 meter bamboo & coir rope rafts. Our local farm manager is providing key monitoring data on seaweed and mussel growth rates, infrastructure integrity and surrounding ecosystem health. Using this data we will better our culturing approaches and adapt our raft designs.
HARVEST + PROCESS
Each seaweed growth cycle lasts between 20 to 35 days. We aim to harvest between 3 to 4 times in a single season. Once the seaweed is harvested from the rafts, we will clean the seaweed and use solar driers to efficiently and hygienically dehydrate the seaweed. The dried seaweed will then be packaged for delivery.
The seaweed farm provides
habitat for a number of marine animals including crustaceans,
molluscs and fish. We are
periodically monitoring how
faunal biodiversity are using our farm. We will also be measuring any benefits this may have to
surrounding fishing communities.
We will link small and medium-scale seaweed + mussel farmers to new markets by connecting farmers, buyers, and consumers across diverse industries in ways that support thriving local farms, economies and coastal communities. Moving forward we indeed for our farmers to completely own their farms.
We will be exploring how to compensate seaweed + mussel
farmers in fair and just ways for the climate-positive role of their farms, including carbon and nitrogen removal, as well compensation for other services such as water filtration and habitat restoration.
PARTNER WITH US.
Based on the learnings from our pilot farm we will replicate and scale regenerative seaweed + mussel farming to create more jobs, conserve biodiversity and address climate change. As such, we are looking for funding, engineers to strengthen our farm design, expertise in packaging and potential customers. Get in touch with us at email@example.com if this is something that interests you!
(The drone footage to the left, of Indian Ocean Humpback dolphins, was taken by our partners Technology for Wildlife, near our farm)