Mitigating Methane from Sheep with Red Seaweed

 Seagriculture EU 2024

by Mariya Abdulkaf/The Verge

Methane is a gas that has 28 times the warming capacity of carbon dioxide. Farming can produce a lot of CO₂ and methane gas — two of the largest threats in greenhouse gases.

Diana Zlotnikov is a farmer in New York with plenty of burping sheep who release methane as a byproduct of their digestive system. Five years ago, Diana started her farm with regenerative agriculture principles in mind — she implemented practices that would not only reduce the carbon footprint of her livestock but would help negate it. Diana has designed her farm to act as a carbon sink that can pull carbon from the atmosphere and trap it in the soil.

But reducing the methane gas coming from her sheep was a much more difficult problem. Based on some research, she tried a mixture of feeds (garlic, legumes, alfalfa), but nothing worked.

One day her daughter Nicole, a sophomore in high school, came home from school in a researching frenzy. She had recently learned how methane gas was contributing to global warming and was determined to find a way to reduce the methane emissions caused by their farm. She came across asparagopsis taxiformis, a type of red seaweed, as an effective solution. It is not yet commercially available, but there are some people trying to change that.

Chemist and entrepreneur Alexia Akbay is one of them. Her company, Symbrosia, produces a red seaweed-based supplement that could reduce livestock methane production dramatically, but what will it take to get it to small farmers like Diana and Nicole? Check out the video to see how Alexia and her team are domesticating a new seaweed species to tackle climate change — one sheep at a time.

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Seagriculture USA 2024



  • May 22, 2024: Scientists at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences have assessed the effects of wild harvested and freeze-dried Asparagopsis taxiformis inclusion in the grass silage-based diets of Norwegian Red dairy cows on feed intake, milk yield and composition, rumen fermentation, and CH4 emission, and have demonstrated promising results both in vitro and in vivo. READ MORE...
  • May 20, 2024: Scientists from Nelson’s Cawthron Institute have joined a $5 million pilot aimed at creating a sustainable commercial seaweed industry in New Zealand. The scientists are conducting a seaweed-growing trial at a mussel farm off the coast of Motueka as part of the Greenwave Aotearoa regenerative ocean farming pilot. READ MORE...
  • May 17, 2024: BettaF!sh, a leading alt seafood and seaweed start-up in Europe, has announced its involvement in the FunSea project, a collaborative EU-wide research initiative designed to advance the nutritional quality and safety of cultivated brown and green seaweed. This research project intends to develop novel, sustainable food products over a three-year period, by employing cutting-edge processing technologies and utilizing residual biomass from biomarine industries. READ MORE...
  • May 15, 2024: The 2024 Algae Biomass Summit, to be held in Houston, Texas, October 20-22, 2024, is now accepting speaker and poster abstracts for the world’s largest algae conference. Abstracts should be submitted by May 24th to receive preferential scoring by the review committee, as well as student registration discounts. READ MORE...

Algae Europe 2024

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