Research Investigates Carbon Offsetting Potential of Seaweed Aquaculture
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Ecological Seafood and Aquatic Plant Farming
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, conducted a global assessment of seaweed aquaculture’s carbon sequestration scaling potential. According to the study, there is substantial suitable area—roughly 48 million square kilometers—in which seaweed could be farmed, and a relatively small proportion (0.001%) of this would be enough to render the entire global aquaculture industry carbon neutral. However, farming seaweed alone won’t balance emissions from global food production, scientists warn, although seaweed farming in an area of only 3.8% of California’s West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone would be enough to offset the carbon produced by the state’s agriculture sector. Additionally, seaweed farming offers additional environmental benefits, such as nutrient uptake and provision of marine habitat, as well as food production and carbon sequestration.