‘Fantastic opportunity’ to bridge aquaculture and general agriculture
SeaStock Pty Ltd, a Perth-based company, has become Western Australia’s first licensee granted permission to commercially sell a native seaweed-based livestock feed supplement that drastically reduces methane. Flinders University researchers, led by Professor of Aquaculture Jian Qin, will collaborate with the company on their production and processing techniques.
Awarding of the licence from global patent-holder FutureFeed gives the company market access to sell Asparagopsis, a naturally occurring red seaweed, for processing into a supplement that reduces methane from ruminant livestock by more than 90 percent. Tom Puddy, SeaStock’s managing director, said the company’s research and commercialization goals were strengthened by the license agreement, as interest in Asparagopsis is growing globally.
“This is a huge milestone for SeaStock and Western Australia, which is in the box seat to establish itself as a leading player in the burgeoning native seaweed industry,” said Puddy. “The science behind the methane-reducing power of Asparagopsis is strong and proven to achieve significant environmental benefits through reducing carbon emissions. Reducing methane in animal production enables meat and dairy producers to meet growing demand from low-carbon food consumers.”
SeaStock is one of only three licensees in Australia and six globally to be granted a license, which was issued in “record time” from FutureFeed. The license allows SeaStock to focus on sampling, cultivation and growth trials across multiple coastline sites from the Kimberley to Western Australia’s South Coast while it undergoes further capital raising.
“There is a fantastic opportunity to create a value-adding bridge between aquaculture and general agriculture,” said Puddy. “An expansive marine environment, strong regulation and compliance, leading technical expertise and job-creating revenue streams can set this industry on a sustainable growth trajectory.”
SeaStock is working on research and development-driven programs in tandem with Australian universities and four regional Indigenous corporations with access to suitable production areas off of Western Australia’s coast. It has several advanced aquaculture lease agreements, including 300 hectares (741 acres) at the Abrolhos Islands, and a burgeoning list of industry offtake partners ready to participate in the supply chain once cultivation and processing of the supplement commence in 2022.
The partnership with Flinders University began in early 2021 when SeaStock started scoping out an effective research, development and commercialization strategy. Since then, the team has worked on a feasibility study and has scoped a plan to deliver an effective technical solution for production, market entry and commercialization by SeaStock.
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