Can seaweed farming help restore our oceans?

Published August 4, 2021, 12:00 PM

by Patricia Bianca Taculao

Seaweeds have long since become a source of nutrients and food. But research shows that seaweeds can play a crucial role in combating climate change and ocean pollution. 

Unlike most plants, seaweed doesn’t need to be fertilized because it gets all the nutrients it needs from the ocean water. This lessens the use of synthetic pesticides, freshwater, and deforestation, all while providing habitats for local marine life and improving water quality. 

And now that ocean pollution is posing a threat, seaweeds may just be the solution. 

Photo by Thomas Peham from Unsplash

The ocean absorbs and stores carbon chemicals to lower the high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This natural process keeps the Earth’s carbon dioxide levels in check. But due to a rise in greenhouse gas emissions, the ocean is experiencing acidification which harms marine species. 

Here’s where seaweed comes in. For it to grow rapidly, seaweeds pull the carbon dioxide from the water because they also can sequester carbon just like other coastal plants such as mangroves and seagrass. 

Seaweeds can also act as a sponge for heavy metals and other coastal pollutants. The only downside is that seaweed grown for this particular reason can’t be consumed due to the heavy metals and pollutants that it has absorbed.

But when it comes to providing a sustainable and cost-effective way to fight climate change and ocean pollution, then it might be a solution worth looking into. 


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