May 23, 2023


SeaFree project develops sustainable seaweed farming in land-based shrimp and fish farming



Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with Aarhus University and several companies, are embarking on a four-year project called SeaFree to establish a closed, sustainable cycle on land that utilises residual nutrients and CO2 from shrimp and fish farming to cultivate seaweed for the food and healthcare sectors, The Fish Site reported.


Professor Marianne Thomsen from the University of Copenhagen's Department of Food Science explained that the project aims to absorb and convert emissions from land-based aquaculture through seaweed production.


The seaweed will be used for various purposes, including dietary supplements to prevent diabetes and innovations in sustainable food products. Notably, the seaweed produced in this process is both nutritious and packed with umami flavour.


The project begins with a 40ft container setup equipped with eight 1,000-litre tanks. This Plug'n'Play technology combines saltwater, CO2, nutrients, and LED lights to enable the production of a full batch of seaweed in just one week.


SeaFree represents cutting-edge recycling technology for land-based shrimp and fish farming, as it captures emissions and recirculates surplus heat to power the container system. The surplus heat is also utilised to dry the seaweed, which is then sold to the healthcare industry. This innovative approach contributes to a more sustainable and efficient production process.


The final product of the SeaFree project comprises climate-friendly fish, shrimp, and sea lettuce. This is a nutritious seaweed species rich in fiber and protein. Sea lettuce is not only used for various dietary supplements but also serves as an edible accompaniment when purchasing seafood.


Professor Thomsen highlights the immense potential of farming fish and seaweed using the SeaFree method. If implemented across all land-based shrimp and fish farms worldwide, this approach could significantly reduce the CO2 footprint of global food systems.


The project, funded with DKK 14.4 million (~US$2 million; DKK 1 = US$0.15) by Innovation Fund Denmark, involves collaborations with several companies including Pure Algae, DryingMate, Food Diagnostics, Sigrid Therapeutics, XOventure GmbH/Rigi Care, KOST, SOF Odden Caviar, and HanseGarnelen.


-      The Fish Site

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