This project aims to develop a novel seaweed-based animal feed product, to suppress methane emissions in cattle.
Seaweed aquaculture has the potential to make an increasingly important contribution to our blue economy. It exploits the sea’s resources in a sustainable and climate-friendly way to generate new sources of economic activity in coastal communities. There is growing interest in seaweeds as a resource for multiple uses including nutrient-rich food, pharmaceutical compounds, bioplastics, biofuels, and animal feed additives.
Even with a diversity of uses, commercial success in European seaweed aquaculture has been limited by knowledge gaps, high production costs and under-developed markets. This project will begin to develop a novel market and supply chain for UK-grown seaweed. Recently scientists have shown that some seaweeds can reduce methane emissions in cattle and sheep by up to 90%. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and emissions from UK cattle alone represents 33% of all emissions in the UK. With growing pressures for climate-friendly food production, seaweed-based animal feeds could become an important new market for seaweed producers. With over 9M cattle in the UK, this would require a step-change in the amount of seaweed that is currently produced.
This project will undertake early-stage development of a novel seaweed-based animal feed product. Seaweeds that grow in the UK will be collected and screened to identify species with the potential for methane suppression. This will underpin the development of a new product which will create a significant market pull for the UK’s seaweed industry, reducing the risk of scaling up production and stimulating growth in the sector.
SAC Commercial Ltd