NewsBits…June 3, 2021

Philippines and India Cooperate on Seaweed Market Development

Philippines and India have formed a bi-lateral agreement to boost production of seaweeds and its processed form, carrageenan, through a business and technical collaboration to join the $12 billion global market. Private companies from both countries are eager to join forces and to invest in each other’s sector. The Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. has also participated in bringing this effort together.
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Northern Ireland to Test Seaweed for Reducing Dairy Emissions

Anew study will examine the effect of seaweed on rumen fermentation and whether its inclusion can suppress methane emissions as a byproduct. The two trials form part of the €2 million Seasolution project led by Teagasc and carried out in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), the Institute of Technology Sligo, as well as institutions in Norway, Sweden, Germany and Canada. It will also screen different seaweed species for their methane-reducing performance to establish if some native varieties have more potential than others.
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Seaweed Farm Incentive Program Launches on Long Island

Environmental groups and scientists on Long Island have announced an incentive program that will pay oyster farmers to grow kelp. New research from Stony Brook University reveals 10,000 pounds of kelp removed 36 tons of nitrogen from Long Island surface waters. New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele supports a bill to expand the program and allow more farmers to grow the kelp. Mr. Thiele said cleaning the water with kelp, using updated septic systems and spreading less fertilizer can all help improve water quality. Scientists say the nitrogen credit program is the first of its kind in New York.
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Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture Project Harvests in Scotland

The first crop of sugar kelp has been harvested from an integrated multi-trophic aquaculture project in Scotland. The farm is part of a study involving the University of Stirling, Mowi, local shellfish partners, and sustainable seaweed farming company KelpCrofting. Ultimately, the study intends to determine whether locating a seaweed and shellfish farm near a salmon farm will allow these species to benefit from the organic nutrients produced. Later this year, KelpCrofting will install a new kelp farm located away from the salmon farm to compare whether the seaweed is directly benefitting from its proximity to salmon.
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The Philippines Funds Study of Spirulina as Health Supplement

Spirulina tablets have become a popular nutraceutical product used in The Philippines for its many health benefits. Randomized controlled trials have indicated anticancer, antiviral, and antiallergic effects, as well as modulating immune function and exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties. Recently, with nearly $250,000 USD of support from the Philippines Department of Science and Technology Region VI, the Applied Research and Innovation Laboratory has completed a pilot-scale study of spirulina’s health effectiveness. With more efficient technologies and decreasing production costs, spirulina could be an aid to address food security and malnutrition concerns.
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